Recently, two new Elvis Presley Fan Clubs have been formed: one for Itawamba Agricultural High School students and a second for his non-teenage fans.
The main goal of both fan clubs will be giving back to the community. According to the founder of both groups, IAHS teacher Lori Holland, this community awareness is in line with the rock legend's history of generosity.
Several projects are currently under way including helping the Tupelo Children's Mansion, which Elvis supported throughout his life. Both fan clubs have been collecting teddy bears, which are adorned with blue bows and a special message from the clubs. These will be given to the Children's Mansion around Valentine's Day. Candy bags will be delivered as well.
Additionally, the clubs are sponsoring a blanket drive.
"The Presley family definitely knew how it felt to be hit by hard times, so the blankets will be distributed to needy families throughout Itawamba County," Holland said.
Blanket donations may be dropped off at the IAHS office. New or gently-used blankets are suggested.
The IAHS Elvis Presley Fan Club is also sponsoring a $500 scholarship for an IAHS senior. Requirements for this scholarship are being discussed, with more information coming soon.
Holland said she hopes the club will be able to continue offering this scholarship in the future, perhaps eventually with an increased amount.
Although the school's fan club currently has about 25 members, the countywide club is still in its infancy. Holland said she is currently seeking information from the Tupelo Elvis Presley Fan Club and Elvis Presley Enterprises to ensure the club is both fun and productive.
"We want to be sure that we do everything the correct and professional way," she said. "We want to honor the memory of Elvis Presley in everything that we do. It's not just about the music and movies ... we want to educate our younger generations about the significance that Elvis played in pop culture."
Holland said Elvis' legacy is more culturally relevant than most people realize.
"So many students are facing some of the same obstacles that Elvis did as a child," she said. "The fact that he overcame those obstacles and reached the fame that he did should be a great example for any young person."
The Itawamba County Elvis Presley Fan Club will begin hosting monthly meetings starting Thursday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. and will continue on the last Thursday night of each month.
For meeting locations, join the fan club Facebook page listed as the Itawamba County Elvis Presley Fan Club.