ELIZABETHTOWN — From conducting a bake sale to selling T-shirts, the West Bladen High School volleyball team made a $3,000 donation to the Ronald McDonald House in memory of Finley “Jude” Mills.
Kenneth Rust, franchise owner of eight area McDonald’s restaurants, received the check on behalf of the Ronald McDonald House.
Jude was the infant son of Robbie and Dana Melvin Mills of White Oak. Dana is an agriculture teacher at West Bladen High School.
Born with a genetic metabolic disorder, Jude died at the tender age of 17 months in August 2013. In October, the WBHS girl’s volleyball team rallied together to collect donations in honor of Jude. The team held bake sales, sold “Red Knight” T-shirts emblazoned with “In Memory of Jude”, conducted a half-and-half auction, and held a silent auction. East Bladen High School’s volleyball team joined the effort and made a $100 donation to the school in honor of Jude.
The West Bladen team is coached by Gaye Davis and assistant coach Laura Hall.
Jude was a special little boy that touched many people. He is survived by his parents, Robbie and Dana Melvin Mills of the home ; one brother, Cooper Mills of the home; his maternal grandparents, Danny and Donna Melvin of White Oak, and his paternal grandfather, Bobby Mills of Farmville.
According to their website, Ronald McDonald House is described as: “Our Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on the health of their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest. We believe that when a child is hospitalized the love and support of family is as powerful as the strongest medicine prescribed.”