Roses Foundation honors educators

The Roses Foundation worked on the houses of retired Starkville educators Darlene Perkins and Betty Rogers on Saturday. After they manicured their lawns, washed their cars and trimmed their hedges, the group planted rose bushes in the ladies' yards and then took them to lunch. (Submitted photo)
Staff Writer

A volunteer group spent Saturday over Father's Day weekend showing retired educators that their dedication is appreciated.

Members of the Roses Foundation spent the day at the houses of two retired Starkville school teachers, cleaning the yards, washing the cars, trimming the hedges and then taking the women out to lunch.

Both of the women on the receiving end of the volunteer work lost their husbands this past year.

Founder and President of the Roses Foundation Troy Hogan said the Roses Foundation chose Father's Day weekend to take the ladies' minds off of their recent loss, and to let them know they are appreciated and loved, no matter what.

The Roses Foundation worked on the yards of retired special education teacher Darlene Perkins and retired history teacher Betty Rogers. Before leaving, the Roses Foundation planted rose bushes in the yards of those they helped, took the ladies to lunch and presented them with plaques thanking them for their dedication to students and the community.

Perkins said the Roses Foundation's surprise was something she will never forget.

"It's a beautiful thing to know that they care enough to do that," Perkins said. "I still don't know how to express my gratitude to them." Xavier Tillman, 46, is Perkins' daughter. Tillman said her mother was speechless on Saturday.

Tillman is also a teacher, working at Starkville High School and East Mississippi Community College. Tillman said she and both her parents became teachers because of their love for children.

"For students years down the road to recognize you and tell you the impact you have had on their lives is unexpected," Tillman said.

Tillman said her mother was brought to tears after seeing her neatly manicured lawn, clean cars and new rose bushes. Hogan said the first house the Roses Foundation serviced was Charles "Lala" Evans', shortly after his wife Louise Evans died.

Hogan said he noticed Evans' yard was less kept than usual, and he approached Evans and asked if he could do some yard work.

Hogan and other 1995 graduates from Starkville High School spent a day redoing Evans' yard and cleaning the outside of his house.

"At that point, we had seen such a success behind it that we felt like we needed to do this again," Hogan said. "That is where the Roses Foundation was created."

Hogan said 2017 is the first official year for the organization. It is made up of a group of volunteers from the SHS class of 1995 and it is named after who he said was one of their most beloved educators, Rose Perkins Evans.

Hogan said Rose Perkins Evans was a literature and English teacher at SHS and a youth leader at Mount Peiler Missionary Baptist Church.

"Miss Rose was a phenomenal woman," Hogan said. "Just to be able to honor her legacy by doing this means the world to us."

Hogan said the Roses Foundation plans to have two service days every summer, and will have another service day on Labor Day Weekend. The Foundation has local sponsors who help them in their efforts, including Lowe's Home Improvement,

Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northeast Mississippi, Harvey's, Domino's Pizza, Fit By Stins and ND Nail & Spa, where the homeowners were given spa treatments while the Roses Foundation cleaned their yards.