PineBelt Community Foundation’s Ann Morris Memorial Fund Awards $79,000 to local organizations

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - This is a press release from the PineBelt Community Foundation.

The Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation’s Ann Morris Memorial Fund recently awarded $79,000 to several nonprofit organizations and to William Carey University. The grant funding will be used to enrich the quality of life to persons of advanced age, who are diagnosed as intellectually challenged.

“The Ann Morris Memorial Fund was designed to assist area organizations who work to enrich the quality of life of intellectually challenged adults,” said Theresa Erickson, executive director of the Community Foundation.

“The PineBelt Community Foundation formed a volunteer Grants Selection Committee, which is comprised of community leaders. Their role is to review all of the grant applications and to ensure that the organizations requesting funding are running a program that matches the donor’s wishes.”

The following organizations were awarded funding:

  • Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp (Pool Accessible Bathroom Project) - $5,000

  • Arc of the Pine Belt Region (ArcTivities)- $10,000

  • Arc of South East Mississippi (Sunsetters NOT Sunsitters, and Rise and Shine Programs) - $30,000

  • Hattiesburg Arts Council (smART Space ARC Rise and Shine Program)- $6,000

  • Special Olympics Mississippi (State Fall Games and Program Development) - $8,000

  • William Carey University (Quality of Life Program)- $10,000

  • William Carey University (Harnessing Adults Full Potential Through Music Therapy Program)- $10,000

The Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp received a grant of $5,000 to build an accessible bathroom at the Iti Kana swimming pool for all campers with disabilities so they are able to have the best experience possible with the least amount of struggle or complication.

The Arc of the Pine Belt Region received a grant of $10,000 to improve and continue social and recreational activities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the ArcTivities program. This may include events such as movie nights, game nights, dance parties, sporting events, and holiday parties


The Arc of Southeast MS received $30,000 for their Rise and Shine program and Sunsetters NOT Sunsitters program. Rise and Shine will use their $15,000 grant to provide adults with disabilities an opportunity to excel in community recreational activities. Sunsetters NOT Sunsitters program will use their $15,000 grant to offer recreational programming to adults with disabilities, providing times in the afternoons, evening and weekends.

The Hattiesburg Arts Council received $6,000 for their smART Space ARC Rise and Shine program to engage intellectually and developmentally disabled adults with interactive movement, role playing, music and art activities, and to encourage self-expression and creativity.

The Special Olympics Mississippi received $8,000 for their State Fall Games and program development for all adults with intellectual disabilities; giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and participate in sharing of gifts and skills with their families and others in the community. The State Fall Games will be held at Camp Shelby on October 22 and 23.

William Carey University’s “Quality of Life” program and “Harnessing Adults Full Potential Through Music Therapy” program received $20,000. The “Quality of Life” program will use their $10,000 grant to facilitate interaction in social settings between University Students and older persons with intellectual disabilities. This may include going on trips such as lunches, day trips, movies etc.

In addition, Williams Carey University’s “Harnessing Adults Full Potential Through Music Therapy” program will use their $10,000 grant to offer services to adults with intellectual disabilities at a day rehabilitation center to increase acquisition of skill building and activities for daily living. There will be two performances for clients during the semester.

Fundraising is provided by the Ann Morris Fund that was set up specifically to enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

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