Fund-raising season jumps into high gear

By Staff
BENEFIT CONCERT Kabana, a local band from Meridian, performs as the opening act at a benefit concert Saturday night to raise money for LOVE's Kitchen and Hope Village for Children. Members of the group include from left, "Stix" Chadwick, Kenny Suire and Mike Wheeler. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
April 14, 2002
Volunteers raised more than $3,000 Saturday in a benefit walk for the state division of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society twice as much as they raised the year before.
Another $300 was raised at a bake sale members of First Baptist Church of Marion sponsored to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation one week before its planned Great Strides Walk.
And organizers hoped to raise even more money Saturday night at a concert for LOVE's Kitchen, which provides meals to the poor and homeless, and Hope Village, a home for abused and neglected children.
The charitable fund-raising season is now in full-swing in Meridian.
This was Beamon's second year to participate in the walk, which her Phi Beta Lambda chapter at Meridian Community College organizes to help fight the disease that attacks the central nervous system.
Other causes
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society isn't the only thing to which Beamon devotes her time and energy.
She has participated in fund-raisers for the March of Dimes and the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. And she contributes money to other events, such as the Relay for Life that benefits the American Cancer Society.
Stephanie Engell and her family are active in fighting cystic fibrosis, a children's disease marked by fibrosis of the pancreas and frequent respiratory infections.
Engell, a First Baptist Church of Marion member, has a 2-year-old son with the disease. She is helping spread word about next week's Great Strides Walk at Bonita Lakes to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Engell said she is glad she lives in a giving community like Meridian.
The cystic fibrosis walk was first held locally last year and raised $2,000. This year's goal is $5,000, and Engell said about half of that amount has already been raised.
Benefit concert
Besides cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis, area residents also raise money for other causes including the Saturday concert for LOVE's Kitchen and Hope Village for Children.
A large crowd turned out near Union Station for the 2nd Annual Art of Love and Hope concert featuring the Del Rendon PRRD Band.
The concert, coordinated by Al Brown and Art Matthews, both of radio station WKZB B-93.5, raised more than $10,000 last year.
On Monday, Jane Collins joins the act when "Kandice's Team" sells catfish plates from 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church to benefit the March of Dimes WalkAmerica set for April 27 at Bonita Lakes.
The team is named after Collins' daughter, who died in 1998 at the age of 10 months. She said she formed the fund-raising team after reading an article that explained how March of Dimes research helps fight infant mortality.
Kandice's Team has been the top money-earner locally for the March of Dimes for the past three years, having raised about $28,000 since 1999.