Rupert Howell Column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rupert Howell

Valentine’s party promises fun; heart-warming cause benefits

There are 12 or 15 people who have been working hard over the past couple of years who have the future of Panola County at their hearts.

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Current board members include William Pride, Rupert Howell, Karen Ott-Mayer, Meg Bartlett, Dr. Katie Beardain, Jimmy McClure, John Rigdon, Frank West, Joe Azar, Mike Dunlap, Sonny Simmons, Betty Jane Billingsley

The Panola County Community Foundation’s board is trying to help Panola County put together resources or assets, like money, together with causes that matter.

Gaining an identity has been somewhat of a problem because there is no one cause or cure that the organization is rallying for or against such as Heart Association, or March of Dimes.

This organization is attempting to be a “Chamber of Commerce” type organization for existing non-profits and civic organizations and causes.

The idea is to raise money and distribute it among existing 501-C non-profit organizations who make application for assistance. The foundation will hopefully have funds available to help with some unexpected or immediate needs should they arise.

To do this the foundation is attempting to raise funds (an endowment) that will be invested with interest being distributed into the local non-profits. This is attractive because through their partner, The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, a 25 percent match is added to endowed funds.

Many communities throughout the country currently have foundations and Panola’s foundation is a step in making our county an area leader, this time in charitable giving. National corporations often donate to such foundations and grants for worthy causes are often distributed through trusted, established foundations.

Our foundation is in its infancy. We need the help of donors, members and workers.

This Friday night we will hold our first fund-raiser, a Valentine’s Party at the Eureka in Batesville. Of course we want to raise a lot of money, but maybe more importantly we want you to know what we’re about. We want you to know that we are legitimate. We want you to know we are working hard. We want you to know that we need your help.

Tickets are $25 and available locally at The Panolian, Panola Partnership, Pride Hyundai, from Karen Ott-Mayer and at the door.

Several reasons you should buy a ticket:

•Valentine’s Day weekend (duh);

• Refreshments and sweet eats;

• Everybody needs to get out;

• Good ‘ole Rock and Roll by the Harry Lighthorse band;

• Valentine’s Day is Sunday and so is the Daytona 500 (Make momma happy early and get Sunday afternoon off);

• The Community Foundation needs your help,


If you can’t attend, the purchase of a ticket is a worthy donation.