By SHEA STASKOWSKI
The Starkville Kiwanis Club has made a generous donation to the Excel By 5 Coalition.
During their meeting Tuesday afternoon, the Kiwanis Club presented Oktibbeha County Excel By 5 Certification Manager Ellen Goodman with a check for $10,000 to help the program reach its certification goal.
“The money will assist us in providing materials for our community events, training opportunities for child care providers and for sessions, workshops and our young families,” Goodman said. “All funds will remain here in Oktibbeha County for events that will be held here to help our local families and children.”
Kiwanis is dedicated to the future of children, and they participate in many community events involving the growth of children. Chairman of the Major Emphasis Committee Ian Munn felt that the Excel By 5 initiative matched well with the mission of Kiwanis and knew it would be beneficial for the club to help.
“It fits really well with what we are trying to accomplish internationally,” member Joan Butler said regarding the support of a program that targets young children’s education. “It shows how we endorse that concept of early childhood education and how important it is to our community.”
To raise the funds, the Kiwanis Club members have been working the Mississippi State University athletic concession stands at all major sporting events.
“It’s a group effort, which makes it even more meaningful,” Butler said. “We’re very grateful to the university for allowing us to do that. If we didn’t have that fundraising opportunity, we would not be able to donate this money.”
As a non-profit organization, Excel By 5 relies solely on donations from the community to sustain its endeavors.
“The donation emphasizes the collaboration of businesses and the value of partnership in helping child birth to five years old,” said Bob Clay, sites manager for Excel By 5. “It allows the coalition to focus on activities to benefit children.”
The Oktibbeha County Excel By 5 Coalition is roughly 85 percent complete with its certification and is in need of business and community donations to sustain the program for the youth of Oktibbeha County. To find out more, contact Ellen Goodman at 615-1661 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .