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franklin county times

Hope for Children

By Staff
THANK YOU Actress Sela Ward of Meridian, center, talks with Sandra Shelson, left, and Patti Marshall, right, Thursday. Ward hosted a reception to thank local and state leaders for their support of the Hope for Children Foundation. Shelson and Marshall work as assistant state attorney generals. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
April 20, 2001
With a large crowd of local and state officials on hand, award winning actress Sela Ward thanked leaders for their efforts to support for the Hope for Children Foundation.
In November, Ward spearheaded an effort to revitalize the Masonic Home facility and turn it into a place for abused and neglected children.
The list of state dignitaries attending Thursday's event included Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives Tim Ford, Attorney General Mike Moore and Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck.
Although in the midst of very hard financial times, the state Legislature managed to appropriate $500,000 to Hope for Children.
Once operational, the facility will provide in-house therapeutic counseling for children who have been traumatized by violence. The center will offer more long-term care than most facilities of its type will provide.
Ward said once complete, the facility could serve as a model institution in reforming the way battered children are cared for.
The foundation has been working with the Mississippi State University architectural students for several months to design what the facility could conceptually be like. Six of the students' designs were on display Thursday.
Newly named Hope for Children executive director Carrie Ponders said the best elements of all the designs will likely be combined to develop the facility.
Hope for Children officials believe they could have some children on the campus within four-to-six weeks as part of the Peavey House relocation effort.
Ward said for the facility to function, it will need the continued support of the citizens of Meridian.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.
How to help:
To make a donation to Hope for Children send gifts to Hope for Children, P.O. Box 26, Meridian, MS., 39302 or call 553-8660.