Starkville Restaurant Week isn’t just about good eats. It’s about how good eats do good! For the third 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 campaign presented by Cadence Bank. Nearly 500 nominations from area residents were submitted over the last month for a number of very deserving local non-profit organizations. Last week, the SCVB Board convened to review the nominations and make a final determination of our Top Three Charity Finalists. We are proud to present the results here. Congratulations to these deserving charities! Mark your calendars now for March 13-22 when you’ll have the opportunity to cast your ballot for which of these three charities will receive the $5000 top prize!
More About the TOP THREE CHARITIES
The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic operates under the umbrella of the School of Psychology Services Center at Mississippi State University and serves an average of 70-75 clients each week, providing assessment and intervention services. Assessment services largely surround autism spectrum disorder diagnoses. Intervention services include pre-academics, social skills, disruptive and problem behaviors, toileting and other needs. Patients in the clinic range from 18 months to 27 years of age, and in an effort to serve a greater number of children, services are limited to either a 7- or 14-week cycle determined on a case-by-case basis. The goal of the program cycle is to apply intervention techniques and to equip caregivers and school personnel with the training and skills needed to continue to implement the intervention plan once the patient’s clinic cycle is complete.
Although the clinic is housed at MSU, it receives no funding from the university. All services are funded through patient fees, which are assessed on a sliding scale from as little as $1 to a maximum of $25, as well as through donations. Less than a third of patients seen each week are MSU students, with the remainder coming from the local community. MSU graduate students serve in the clinic, providing assessments two times per week. In addition, the clinic also hosts a 4-week summer camp each year, where participants from all age groups work on academic and social skills.
The local chapter of the Salvation Army serves Oktibbeha, Webster, Winston and Choctaw Counties, providing assistance to those in need. Services include providing food, furniture or clothing to families who have been displaced or lost personal belongings in house fires or other catastrophes. The organization also provides financial support for children who wish to attend summer camp in Lexington, MS each year. The Starkville Salvation Army chapter generates it’s revenue for service through the annual Kettle Campaign and retail store proceeds, as well as through local fundraising events
The Salvation Army is an international movement with 7,546 centers in communities across the United States. Under its motto, “Doing The Most Good,” the organization seeks to feed, clothe, comfort and care for those in need. SA is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church, and its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. In living and sharing the Christian gospel by meeting tangible needs, the Salvation Army seeks to give the world a lasting display of the love behind its beliefs. Eighty-two cents of every dollar spent supports various missions around the country.
The Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity is a Christian mission that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. The organization is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing through the construction of new homes and providing a no-interest mortgage to low income homeowners who need a better place to live and who are willing to work hard to make better lives for their families. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.
Starkville Habitat for Humanity maintains an open door policy, welcoming volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds, and also serves people in need of decent housing, regardless of race or religion. Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not proselytize as a matter of policy. Neither adherence to a particular faith or openness to messages about a particular faith are a prerequisite for Habitat providing assistance.
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 ten days of eating — March 13-22, 2015.
In addition, the 2nd place charity will be awarded $1000, courtesy of Vollar Law Firm, and the 3rd place charity will be awarded $500, courtesy of Scrub-ville. During Starkville Restaurant Week, everybody wins — each of our three deserving charities and YOU, our local eaters!