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charmainejensenvoisine

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PostSubject: Elvis impersonatorís good works recognized   Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:03 am

July 25th, 2008
by Jilly Moon
The Telegraph


EDITOR'S NOTE: For the first time, the YWCA of Alton has created the Men of Distinction Awards for men whose personal achievements and contributions to the community exemplify the YWCA's mission of empowering women and eliminating racism. The community nominated the men, and a panel of judges selected the 10 awardees. Articles about each of the 10 men will appear consecutively in the coming days. This is the first to appear.

A recognition luncheon will be held at the Godfrey campus of Lewis and Clark Community College (5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, Ill.) on Aug. 7.


ALTON - Steve Davis portrays the King, but what really makes Davis a king is his heart of gold.

"The happiness and joy is immeasurable from performing for seniors and young people," said Davis, who is a well-known Elvis Presley impersonator, but also an all around entertainer and an ordained minister. "Each appearance that I make and I am able to put a smile on someone's face, even for a short period of time, is great."

In advancing the YWCA of Alton's mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, Davis describes the icon he portrays as a "good Christian hero who can dissolve polarization." Davis said he has met many friends of Presley, both black and white.

Davis also relates to Presley's capacity for giving. Through Davis' research, he said Presley was nominated in 1971 as a Junior Jaycee of America.

"It was one of the few awards he picked up in person, because it was important to him," Davis said.

Davis also has helped raise funds for dozens of charities, including the Susan J. Komen Race for the Cure; YWCA of Alton Future Leader Scholarship Fund; Special Olympics; Sisters of the Poor and the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Davis has had numerous opportunities to speak in schools and conduct library programs for children.

"While speaking, I try to portray a positive role model, discuss alcohol and substance abuse, eliminating violence and crime in their community, and how important education is for their future," Davis said.

And he does not let his public persona Presley off of the hook.

"I answer many of their questions regarding the individual I portray in my career, and how drugs and alcohol abuse had a negative impact on his life," he said.

At the end of these programs, Davis asks that the youngsters try to do something nice for someone in need, such as check on an elderly neighbor or volunteer, which is how Davis lives his own life.

In Davis' biography for "Men of Distinction," he relayed a wish he granted for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in June 2007. A terminally ill girl wished for Davis to appear and sing "Love Me Tender" for her mother, who had been by her side through all of her doctor visits, hospitalizations and medical procedures. On the day Davis granted her wish at St. Louis Children's Hospital, he overheard the girl tell her friend that she was going to meet Jesus soon, and she asked her friend if they wanted her to tell Jesus anything for them.

When Davis received a call that the girl had died, Davis learned she had taken along the stuffed animal he had given her that day.

"I try to live by good Christian morals and values set by my parents and following the direction set by Proverbs 22:6," Davis explained. "ĎTrain up a child in the way he should go/And when he is old, he will not depart from it.'"

Article Source: http://www.thetelegraph.com/news/ywca_16574___article.html/first_community.html
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