Our Inspiration

The Clemons Family

In Memoriam, Mrs. Barbara Clemons

Mr. and Mrs. Clemons moved to Panama City in 1957 and from day one they began serving their community together.  They have been long time supporters of many civic programs in our area, but none hold a flame to the After School Assistance Program.  Having been involved with ASAP since its inception in 1993, they each have given an immeasurable about of time and attention to this much needed program in the heart of our community.

Mrs. Barbara Clemons believed that ASAP was the one program that could really change the lives of children and she shared this vision with her husband.  Working as a team, they began to search for avenues to improve the quality of the program, impacting as many children as possible along the way.  “There was never a time when my parents weren’t working on some sort of project,” reflects Cathie Bennett, their daughter.  “The ASAP children, their need for mentors and a place to call their own really struck a chord within her.”

Mrs. Clemons’ determination to make ASAP successful resembles a force of nature.  It wasn’t unusual for Mr. Clemons to come home and find some 40 children playing out in the bay behind their home.  Most had never seen the water and none of them knew how to swim, so hanging onto Mrs. Clemons for dear life was the thing to do.  Other occasions included manners and etiquette sessions using her china and silver as the backdrop.

There are several people key to the success of ASAP, in part, because of the call made by Mrs. Clemons to engage in the effort.   Mrs. Olivia Cooley, Mrs. Jeanette Chapman, Mrs. Karen Harrington and the late Mrs. Kendall Middlemas all responded to her plea without hesitation.  They each have provided outstanding leadership and mentoring to countless ASAP children over the years.  Still today, there are close to forty women that mentor, support and celebrate with the children at ASAP thanks to the vision and legacy of Mrs. Barbara Clemons.

It is clear that both she and the entire Clemons Family believe in children and the prospect for their future.

Mrs. Barbara Clemons was a driving force for this program and we are so thankful for all that she did to champion the ASAP cause. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Clemons family.

The Founders Circle

Jeanette Chapman                                 Barbara Clemons                         Olivia Cooley

Brandy Haiman                                      Lisa Hamlin                                 Beth McKeithen