Church, community help Puckett with new van

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By Sharon Warner

Duanne Puckett, the public relations coordinator for Shelby County Public Schools, is smiling because she is driving a 2010 Honda Odyssey van modified to meet her needs of using a wheelchair, because of an auto accident in 1967. Partial funding for the vehicle came from the community after a campaign led by her church, Centenary United Methodist that started in October. Puckett said the balance came from security bonds that were invested in 1972 by an anonymous group of soldiers for "the crippled Shelbyville High School cheerleader" following a magazine article that went statewide about her surviving the spinal cord injury. The conversion equipment was provided by the Department for Vocational Rehabilitation. Puckett said, "Again, I am grateful for my church and this community to ensure I have a safe mode of transportation for personal outings as well as for my job with the school system."