The results of philanthropy are seldom more quickly appreciated than in enterprises serving children and adolescents.

Renovations have started at the Northside Center in Tupelo to enhance the usefulness and repair wear and tear that has gradually taken a toll on the building operated by the Boys & Girls Club of North Mississippi, which has operations in five counties.

The organization, which has served youth in Chickasaw, Lafayette, Lee, Tippah and Union counties since 1996, needed permission from the Tupelo City Council to proceed with renovations because the city owns the facility.

Renovations planned for the facility include replacing the gym floor, replacing damaged ceiling components from roof leaks and evaluating the electrical system, among other items.

“The main thing all this is centered around is making improvements to the safety issues for our children and some cosmetic things that will make them excited,” said Zell Long, chief professional officer and longtime community activist. “The goal is to increase membership at the club and these things will allow us to do that and help us support our community.”

Planning for the renovations began last year when the club received an unexpected donation from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, operated by the founder and executive chairman of web-hosting service GoDaddy.

Parsons announced he would provide funds to remodel three Boys & Girls Club facilities in north Mississippi, and he pledged an additional $100,000 to the clubs.

Boys & Girls Club of North Mississippi serves an impressive 2,000 children and adolescents in the span of a year, engaging them in recreational and mentoring relationships to help them mature and gain exposure to the positive opportunities in life at work and in play.

The volunteers whose efforts help the Boys & Girls Club include five groups of Tupelo High School seniors who helped the  clubs for their senior projects, which included etiquette classes, reading with the kids, fire safety, a talent show and becoming club buddies.

Said Rosanna Head, whose group went to the Northside Center every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, “We wanted to help teach them how to properly interact with adults and how to show respect by saying ‘Yes Sir’ and ‘No Ma’am.’”


Verona Alderwoman Jessie Gilmore did not say at a board meeting Tuesday night that former Police Chief Bill Johnson disrespected her, as stated in Thursday’s editorial. She said he disrespected the Board of Aldermen.

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