Starkville Restaurant Week isn’t just about good eats. It’s about how good eats do good! For the fifth year, the Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau is honored to raise awareness about local charities doing good work in our community through the Starkville Restaurant Week $5000 Charity Prize presented by Cadence Bank. Nominations from area residents this year included an unprecedented variety of non-profit organizations impacting the Starkville and Oktibbeha County community. We were excited to see support for so many charities that have never been nominated before. The SCVB Board convened to review the nominations and make a final determination of our Top Three Charity Finalists. Congratulations to these deserving charities! Mark your calendars now for April 17-23 when you’ll have the opportunity to cast your ballot for which of these three charities will receive the $5000 top prize!
CHILDREN’S OF MISSISSIPPI
Children’s of Mississippi serves as the only children’s hospital in the state of Mississippi. More than 180,000 children from all 82 counties were cared for by Children’s of Mississippi services this past year. In fact, those numbers include nearly 1,000 youngsters from Starkville and the surrounding areas. Children’s is made up of three Jackson area locations with Batson Children’s Hospital as it’s largest component, along with the Eli Manning Clinic and the Hinds Comprehensive Clinic. In addition there are two other locations: Children’s of Mississippi- Tupelo and Children’s of Mississippi- Gulf Coast in Biloxi.
From your nominations…
“Thirty-nine and a half years ago our family experienced first-hand the compassionate, comprehensive care in a family-focused environment by dedicated doctors and staff at UMMC Children’s Hospital, now referred to as Batson Children’s Hospital, in Jackson, MS. Each team member gave their best to each patient but after seven months, we lost one of our five-year-old twin daughters to Childhood Embryonal Rabdomysarcoma.
Having stayed involved with the hospital since 1977, I have seen the impact this hospital makes on children in the Starkville community. Since then, the state’s only Children’s Hospital has physically expanded and grown. Batson’s provides care in more than 30 specialty areas and houses the state’s only pediatric and neonatal intensive care units and emergency department along with Mississippi’s only pediatric treatment programs for cancer, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart defects, nervous system disorders, craniofacial anomalies, sickle cell anemia, and other specialties.”
T.K. MARTIN CENTER
The T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability is an educational program allowing families who have a child with developmental concerns to receive academic services, speech-language pathology and occupational therapy series under an individualized education plan prior to beginning kindergarten. Additionally, the TKMC provides adaptive services for wheelchairs, vehicle adaptations, and necessary communication evaluation and devices for children and adults who are unable to develop natural speech.
From your nominations…
“The impact this center has on local Starkville families is under publicized. T.K. Martin Center is helping countless families with their children with special needs. It is helping their children reach their full potential. God created these children with a divine purpose, and I would love to be able to give back to this center that services God’s most precious gifts.”
“My daughter, Willow, age 2, attends TK Martin’s project IMPACT program. It is a preschool program helping children with disabilities. These services are provided free of charge and give my daughter, and so many kids like her, a jump-start at achieving their maximum potential. Their staff is passionate about the work they are doing. They clearly love these kids. TK Martin also provides an art program for adults with disabilities. This organization provides opportunities for people in the community to come together to support the special needs community. So many have been inspired by the impact this facility has had on the lives of the children and adults that attend TK Martin programs.”
Young Life is a Christian youth and student organization which was founded in 1939, and has grown to include groups across the United States and globally. The Starkville chapter began in 2013 at Mississippi State University with nine college students who were convinced Starkville needed a YoungLife program. Since then, the program has developed into three ministries at the university, Starkville High School and Starkville Academy. Young Life currently includes four staff and forty volunteers that work with students on the three campuses in hopes of seeing more kids come to know and follow Jesus. Young Life leaders are caring adults who come sharing that hope as well as fun and lasting friendships with kids. Young Life is also all about fun. From club and camp to Campaigners and other activities, teenagers will have blast laughing, trying new things and being with their friends.
From your nominations…
“This organization is so important to our community as it bridges the gap between young people and adults and provides a wonderful Christian foundation for young teens when they most need it. The leaders meet kids where they are and just show up to show support, encouragement, and act as Jesus would. Basically they are the hands and feet of Jesus in our schools and even into college. They send students to camp and offer weekly meetings styled with the young people in mind. On their own ‘turf’.”
“Young Life is actively making an impact in the lives of kids all throughout Starkville. One of the main ways to do this is through camp! Camp is a time where kids and leaders get to have a ton of fun while getting super real and deep at the same time, and it is often described by kids as “the best week of their life”. That being said, there is a cost to this camp that not all kids can afford so Young Life offers scholarships when the money is available to help get as many kids to camp as possible. This would be an ideal opportunity for Starkville Young Life to get some real money raised in order to get our kids to camp!”
CONGRATULATIONS to these very deserving local organizations committed to doing good work in our area! We’ll be sharing interviews and more of their work leading up to Restaurant Week when you, our eaters, will be making your voting decisions!
Thank you to CADENCE BANK for supporting Starkville Restaurant Week as our grand prize Charity Sponsor. Cadence Bank will be awarding $5000 to the charity that receives the most votes during this year’s seven days of great eats — April 17-23, 2017!
In addition, the 2nd place charity will be awarded $1000, courtesy of Vollar Lang Law Firm, and the 3rd place charity will be awarded $500, courtesy of Ross & Kelley Attorneys. During Starkville Restaurant Week, everybody wins — each of our three deserving charities and YOU, our local eaters!