There is an old saying “Don’t Look Back” to which many people often refer, with some exceptions. For instance, we are thankful that James Dean, Author and Creator of Pete the Cat, continues to look back. Dean may have graduated from Fort Payne High School and moved away many years ago, but Fort Payne will always be a place he calls home.


Dean has a passion for reading and art, especially encouraging children to read and express themselves through art. So, it made sense to him to help grow the art and library programs in Fort Payne through funding. And that’s just what he did and continues to do for our wonderful art and library programs in the Fort Payne City School System. 


James Dean recently made a contribution to the art and library programs in addition to his donation in 2018. Last year, Dean allowed the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce to sell shirts with his trademarked Pete the Cat design to raise money for the programs as well. To date, thanks to James Dean, over $10,000 has been raised to support Fort Payne City School Systems art and library programs.


Now, James Dean is a very humble person and really gives back for the children and not the recognition. However, I’m telling you about his generous, giving spirit in hopes it will resonate with you, and you will decide to give back and make a difference in some way.


There are many ways to give back in your community, just ask around. For instance, have you talked to educators to find out what their needs are? Don’t you think our children, our future, are worth the investment? James Dean does, and for that we thank you Mr. Dean.


Today and every day, I encourage you to find your generous giving spirit and your passion and do something worthy, I promise you won’t regret it.