With the deadline for the annual Phantom Ball coming up at the end of February, now is a good time to recognize the efforts of the Tupelo/Lee County Community Foundation.
Established in 2015, the community affiliate operates as part of the CREATE Foundation, with Dr. C.K. White currently serving as chairman of the board and Pat Caldwell as vice chairman.
According to White, the Tupelo/Lee County Community Foundation has provided $116,700 in grants to 48 organizations.
“The Tupelo Lee County Community Foundation is working to improve the quality of life in our community. We do this through having our board identify community issues and then provide grant funds to support those issues,” White said. “We also work to build permanent charitable resources through an endowment fund to support future community needs.”
Two of the organization’s most significant initiatives are the Tupelo/Lee Hunger Coalition, which addresses food insecurity, and the “Night for a Hand Up,” which allows local non-profits the opportunity to tell their story.
CREATE provides administrative support for the 13 community affiliates throughout Northeast Mississippi as well as a $100,000 challenge grant to build each affiliate endowment fund. These grant funds come from a special dividend from the Daily Journal and a gift from Mrs. McLean in 1997.
The Phantom Ball is now in its third year and is the biggest fundraiser for the Tupelo/Lee County Community Foundation. Instead of holding an actual event, donors are asked to be a “ghost host” or “phantom sponsor,” nothing more. The idea behind the Phantom Ball is that everyone is busy, but anyone can donate to the “non-event.”
All Saints Brew, Early Childhood Coalition, Meals on Wheels Lee County, Real Men Stand Up, Tupelo Film Festival, Wear it Well, and more all benefit from the Tupelo/Lee County Community Foundation. The Phantom Ball is just one way the community can help these and many other organizations through the Tupelo/Lee County Community Foundation.