Thursday, November 5, 2009
Foundation hands out awards
By SUE WATSON
The first annual Gold and Silver Scholastic Gala, to recognize outstanding contributions of non-profit organizations and community leaders, was held October 17 at the Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center in Olive Branch.
The awards ceremony caps off a successful year for the CC Taylor Foundation.
Receiving awards were the Marshall County Habitat for Humanity, which received the Human Rights and Status of Mankind Award; the Clydesdale Christmas Store, which received the Economic and Social Development Award; Dr. Walter Rayford, who received the Making a Difference Award; and Sheriff Kenny Dickerson who was presented with the Community Support and Goodwill Award.
In addition, eight high school undergraduate scholarship recipients were recognized for their academic and community achievements.
County school district superintendent Don Randolph and his wife Ladene served as grand marshals for the evening.
Randolph was recognized for providing educational opportunities for students. During remarks, Randolph reminded the guests it is because of the generosity of people in the community that the Rev. Charlie E. and Cinderella S. Taylor Foundation is able to contribute thousands of dollars in scholarships and financial assistance to improve lives and uplift families and communities across America.
An undisclosed amount of money was donated from the Mary L. Ollie Good Samaritan Outreach Fund to the charities of choice of the honorees - to Marshall County Habitat for Humanity; to the Clydesdale Christmas Store; the American Cancer Society, the select charity of Dr. Walter Rayford for his contribution to education and research to raise awareness and prevention of prostate cancer; and to the LeBonheur Children’s Hospital (Sheriff Dickerson’s charity of choice, for his philanthropic fund-raising initiatives and service in protecting the people of Marshall County).
Alderman Russell Johnson, who accepted the award on behalf of Habitat, said not very many things excite him, but the Taylor Foundation does.
“To have a foundation that gives the kind of awards they give is truly a blessing,” he said. “They give academic scholarships and recognition to organizations. To me, I’ve never seen anything like it in this community. They (the Taylor families) are to be commended. It’s just fantastic.”
Dickerson said he chose LeBonheur because of the excellent professional care given to children of the region, in particular noting that a Marshall County child, Morgan Shaw, a victim of kidnapping and aggravated assault, received outstanding life-saving medical assistance there. He selected LeBonheur on behalf of all children including Shaw.
Dickerson also made a personal contribution to St. Jude Hospital for cancer research and treatment of cancers in children.
Both hospitals make valuable contributions to the health and welfare of children of North Mississippi communities, he said, including Marshall County.
Four graduates, Alex T. Isom (Ole Miss), Richard C. Kennard (University of Alabama), Hanna C. Roberts (Mississippi State) and Kevin D. Steinman (Itawamba Community College) received scholarships from the 2009 Judith Woolley-McKevitt scholarships fund. James Buchanan (Ole Miss), Emily A. Chaffin (Harding University), Justin Thomas Gilmer (Mississippi State) and John Huggins (Blue Mountain College) received scholastic awards from the 2009 Sunshine Shehee Payne scholarship fund. Scholarship applications and instructions to students are available on the foundation's website provided below.
The CC Taylor Foundation was established by the seven children of Charlie and Cinderella Taylor to honor their parents who taught them that education is the key to attaining goals in life and that they each should remember their roots and give back to the community. Established on July 28, 2006, the foundation made contributions to the theological education of clergy and provided assistance to children in Northern Uganda, China and India.
The planning committee was responsible for the success of this event. The members of the planning committee are Fergenia Hood, Marie McClatchy, Margie Green, Maia Miller, Gloria Marion, Irene Strickland, Betty Burch, Earlene Smith and Kate Permenter.
Over 26 individuals and businesses in the Marshall County and greater area served as sponsors of the 2009 Gold and Silver Scholastic Gala event.
To learn more about the CC Taylor Foundation visit www.cctaylorfoundation.org.
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