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Shane Jones Memorial Gospel Sing scheduled for Saturday at IHS

This Saturday is Shane Jones' 14th birthday.

Even though he is no longer here, his friends and family still intend to celebrate.

The Ironton Junior High School Kids Care Club, Gear Up and the gospel quartet Crucified with Christ have organized a gospel sing to benefit Jones' family. From 6-9 p.m. Saturday, the Ironton High School auditorium will be filled with the sounds of gospel music.

"This makes me proud to be Shane's mom," Patty Jones said. "This shows how Shane inspired these kids and how much of an influence he had."

All funds raised from the concert or from refreshment sales will go to the Jones family. Patty Jones said the family plans to have the proceeds go to a scholarship fund established in Shane's memory. Tickets will be $5 at the door, and children 12 and younger are admitted free.

Tony Dilley, tenor and president of Crucified with Christ, said he did not personally know the Jones family before deciding to do the concert. However, after reading news stories about Shane, he and group members Jack and Sue Dennin, Gary Nichols and Steve Dolin wanted to ease the suffering of the family and try to ease any financial burdens they have.

He then approached IJHS principal Jerry Watson about performing at the school. Watson then went to members of the Kids Care Club who decided to make it bigger. The lineup now includes not only Crucified with Christ but also "Sweet Sounds of Sugar Creek", "Day Three" (formerly known as "By Grace."), soloists and a puppet show for children from Etna Baptist Church Youth Ministry.

When the concert was planned, Dilley arrived at the Joneses' front door.

"They shared sweet memories about their son," he said. "He was a special little person."

Last year, the Kids Care Club had 14 members. This year, it has 87. Club adviser Missy Fields, IJHS guidance counselor, credits Shane with inspiring the other students to join.

"They learned a lot from Shane," she said. "'Never Give Up' was Shane's motto. He's still here in spirit. It shows every day."

Besides the entertainment being donated, items such as posters, flyers and sound systems have been donated, Watson said.

"This will be a wonderful event," he said. "Gospel music is uplifting, and it's fitting for Shane's memory. I would love to see the auditorium filled."

Patty Jones said she hasn't established formal criteria or the amount of the scholarship at this time. However, she does want the scholarship to go to a student who has overcome adversity.

"When Shane would come through the door, it was homework first," she said. "Even when he wasn't feeling well, he understood the importance of it."

She hopes to give the scholarship to a student at the end of the 2002-2003 school year, and if she cannot keep the scholarship going forever, she wants to at least keep it going until Shane's class graduates from high school. Donations may be made to the fund at any National City Bank in Ohio. Besides the concert admission and refreshments, family and friends will also sell special Christmas ornaments with Shane's football number, 45, on it.

"This is Shane's birthday party," Patty Jones said. "To me, Nov. 30 will always be Shane's birthday."