Sheriff’s Office rewards girl Natchez’s good deed with a new bike – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

The sheriff’s office rewards the good deed of the girl Natchez with a new bicycle

Published Sunday, May 7, 2023 at 11:17 am

NATCHEZ — After a fairly quick investigation aided by social media, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office awarded a Natchez girl for her act of kindness at last weekend’s Wayne Rabb Memorial Rodeo.

On Thursday, members of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office Rodeo Committee presented Layla Lucas with a new bike.

Karren Holland Ewing, ACSO victims’ attorney, said at last Saturday’s rodeo that Layla and other girls entered a competition called the Calf Scramble, held every night of the rodeo, for a new bike.

“We do a girls session and a boys session every night of the rodeo. We ask all children to come into the arena,” she said. “We then release a calf with a ribbon on its tail. They all chase the calf until one of them can grab the ribbon and that little girl or boy wins the bike.

“They got out there and this little girl was about to grab the ribbon, but she fell down. The others went ahead and Layla grabbed the tape and turned and basically gave away her new bike,” Ewing said. “It took us all by surprise. We had never seen anything like it, a child with so much compassion. The more we thought about it, the more we started asking each other if we knew who this little girl was.”

Ewing took to social media to ask that question, and Layla was quickly identified.

“We went to work and talked about it and asked the sheriff, what can we do? He said, “We have to do something for her.” So that’s what we did. I went to get the bike and called her mom and asked what time she could take Layla to the sheriff’s office.’ ”

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said Layla’s act of kindness revived his hopes for the future.

“We promote the Sheriff’s Deputy Rodeo as a family-friendly event every year. It’s a place where parents can bring their kids and let loose a little. They can relax knowing it’s one of the safest events you can attend in Adams County,” Patten said. “And we love interacting with the families and the kids.

“That particular event is one of our favorite parts of the rodeo because the kids become kids and do what kids are supposed to do. They shouldn’t think about what’s happening to the rest of the world and just be kids,” he said. “After she won that bike grant and plaza, and to see her turn around and give it up like that, it did us so much good as officers to be reminded that there are a lot of good kids in the community. It gave us hope for change in the direction we see America going.

“It was a humble and generous act towards another child. We thought it best to get her a new bike. Her selflessness should be rewarded.”

Ewing said the new bike was quite a surprise for Layla, who is 12.

“We were all so touched by such a young girl with such a big heart that we wanted to get her a new bike as well,” said Ewing. “We pray that Layla never loses her compassion for others.”

Layla’s mother, Glennese Smith, said she is very proud of Layla, but she was not surprised by her daughter’s act of kindness.

“She is always with me when we do things in the community. She pays attention to how I treat others. When she got home on Saturday, she said, “I won a bike, but I gave it away.” I asked her why she did that. She told me about the girl’s fall and said, “I already have a bicycle, so I decided to give it to her.”

“It was a proud moment for a proud mother. She often makes me feel good, like I’m doing something right. She’s such a free spirit and is very sweet,” Smith said.

Layla is in sixth grade at Natchez Middle School, “and she’s an honor student,” her mom said.

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