Listed below are articles that appeared in the Greensburg Daily News about the Town of Westport.
Please be advised that all articles are used by permission of the Greensburg Daily News and are property of CNHI Media. Articles may not be reprinted or circulated without express written permission of the newspaper.

Westport 'Transformed'
by Steve Hodgson 

This coming Sunday a number of teenagers in Westport will make a commitment to their parents and themselves in a Purity Ceremony to take place at 6 p.m. at the Westport Christian Church. These families have completed a four week Christian Purity Program conducted by Lisa Newton from Pregnancy Care Center of Columbus.

"One of the important issues facing families today is teenage pregnancy" said Minister Mike Bartlett, "it affects our economy, our children and their lives." The Westport Christian Church has sponsored the program in hopes of reaching out to all of the children in the area. "We hope the program will have a positive influence on both the teenagers as well as their parents to make an impact their children's future."

The program is conducted by Pregnancy Care Center which has offices in 5 counties which include Bartholomew, Jennings, Jackson, Brown and Shelby counties. They have taught their program in 17 schools, including Decatur County called "Choose To Wait." "Our main focus is 'Children Be Born' which helps our teens focus on the truth about pregnancy" stated Tim Harden, a Board member of the Center. "They are bombarded with so much incorrect information while watching TV. We want to teach our teens the risks involved with being sexually active from pregnancy, disease to being able to experience fuller communication in dating relationships, being in control of their lives and have a greater trust in marriage."

The program strives to have parents more involved in their children's lives. By open communication, expressions of faith and religion, they can help guide their children on the right path to a more enjoyable life without all of the worries of having to raise a baby.

At the ceremony on March 5 the parents will express to everyone what they expect of their child. The teens will accept these guidelines and make a commitment to their parents and to the Lord. They will receive a 'Symbol of Promise' in the form of a bracelet to wear. They will also receive a certificate/contract to remind them to live a much fuller, enjoyable life.

"We have offered this program to the entire community of Westport and Decatur County and have had a great turnout" stated Bartlett. "I truly hope that more churches and organizations host this program in their community. Our children are truly worth it!"


A Westport Ambassador
by Steve Hodgson

On the way to the 'Land Down Under', Michael Cann has been chosen as a student ambassador with the 'People to People Student Ambassador Program'. Cann and Katie Foster have been chosen from South Decatur to represent the U.S. in Australia from June 9 through June 26.

Founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 and subsequently having eight U.S. Presidents serve as Honorary Chairmen, People to People have taken thousands of young Americans across international borders. Eisenhower believed that ordinary citizens of different nations, if able to communicate directly, would solve their differences and find a way to live in peace. This simple thought—that people can make a difference where governments cannot—is People to People’s foundation. Walt Disney created the “It’s a Small World” attraction in 1964 after his participation in the People to People International White House conference. This attraction has now introduced over 250 million people to the concept that we live together in “one small world.” In other words, we may have our differences, but underneath we all share the same core values.

"I am looking forward to going to Australia with my fellow students" stated Cann. "We will going to Parliament, special tours of zoos and attractions and plan to meet some very interesting people in Australia. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

The students chosen were nominated through the website. Cann has no idea who nominated him but he is truly grateful. After the selection interview, they must present 3 letters of recommendation, 2 from teachers and one from an adult of the community.

Cann expects the cost of the trip to be about $6000. of which he has raised about $1500 so far. Donation jars are located in businesses throughout Westport. He is hoping to raise the balance by the time the trip begins.

"I will be proud to represent the United States as well as Westport in Australia" stated Cann.



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