School stimulus|Cottrell’s $2 bills return

Published 8:22 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2010

By By Lisa Tindell and Kerry Whipple Bean
A new generation of spenders got an economics lesson Tuesday — and an opportunity to be a part of the nationally acclaimed small-town stimulus plan created by Danny Cottrell.
Cottrell, who owns Medical Center Pharmacy in Brewton, presented each senior at W.S. Neal and T.R. Miller High Schools with an envelope containing $30 in $2 bills — a move reminiscent of his stimulus plan for pharmacy employees a year ago.
Cottrell gave the students similar stipulations that he gave his employees — spend locally, and spend part on charity.
The presentation to the students was an economics lesson that brought home the reality of local versus out-of-town shopping.
Last year, Cottrell and Brewton gained national attention when word of what Cottrell called a “country boy’s stimulus plan” spread across the country. The story appeared in several newspapers, and Cottrell was interviewed on national news broadcasts.
City and school officials joined Cottrell for his presentation at both schools Tuesday, giving students an idea about how their sales tax dollars help education and the community.
Hines noted that many of the “extras” that schools need come from local dollars. “All of the extras — including turned on lights at the football field — that comes out of our local revenues,” he said.
Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings told T.R. Miller seniors that tax dollars coming into city coffers are what helps keep the city moving in a positive direction. “The state of Alabama and the City of Brewton is dependent on sales tax dollars,” he said. “Money spent in this community helps us all.”
Brewton City Schools Superintendent Lynn Smith told students they have benefited from money spent locally throughout their years in the Brewton City School System.
Smith told students they are now faced with the responsibility of keeping those services alive in the city and in the school system.
Students were surprised by the gift; many simply held the envelopes in their hands, unsure what to do. Others were quick to say thank you or to examine just what a $2 bill looks like.
W.S. Neal senior Ashton Cary wasn’t sure where she would spend the money.
At T.R. Miller, class officers were tipped off to the gift before Cottrell arrived, and they asked fellow seniors to help donate their $6 to Sav-A-Life.
Treasurer Wes Dickey said the officers came to an agreement to give the money to Save-A-Life.
Hines said he hoped students would heed Cottrell’s requests.
W.S. Neal Assistant Principal Patty Frazier encouraged students to take Cottrell’s gift seriously.