Corporate Giving: Soulsville receives scholarships

Corporate Giving story for The Commercial Appeal

March 13, 2009

The giving arm of SunTrust Bank, the SunTrust Foundation, awards scholarship money totaling $200,000 per year to Memphis students for four local schools: the University of Memphis, Christian Brothers University, LeMoyne-Owen College and Rhodes College.

On March 5, the Scholars for Memphis event was held at Soulsville Charter School to award a check for scholarships to Rhodes and to raise community awareness of the partnership among the three organizations.

“We wanted to present at Soulsville because they are such an integral part of the Rhodes service scholarship program,” said Jordan BarrĂ©, vice president of sales and marketing for SunTrust Bank, Memphis … (read more)


Up, up and away

Corporate Giving story for The Commercial Appeal

March 6, 2009

Area Fred’s Inc. stores have been selling Miracle Balloons for $1 apiece since Sunday to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network, the organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals across the country.

Money from the balloons sold at the chain’s 17 area stores will go to Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center, a CMN member hospital.

This is the fourth year for the balloon program, which has raised $1.2 million so far throughout the chain, including $464,950 last year.

“We want to hit the half-million mark this year,” said Ursula Roman, marketing director for Fred’s. “The goal is for each store to sell 800 balloons.” … (read more)


Library, still oasis of free fun, helps dad

“Because I Said So” column for The Commercial Appeal

March 5, 2009

My first experience with books that I can recall was at the main branch of the library located, at the time, on the corner of McLean and Peabody in Midtown.

A low brick-and-concrete building, it had zero curb appeal, especially when contrasted against the backdrop of wide, tree-lined streets and a neighborhood of stately Victorians, bungalows and four-square homes. You had to know what magic the utilitarian structure contained to want to step inside.

We lived on Central Avenue, and my mother would walk my sister and me there to pass the time. It must have been where I first fell in love with books … (read more)


Harrah’s Entertainment Organizers betting on cowboy benefit

Corporate Giving story for The Commercial Appeal

February 20, 2009

Harrah’s Entertainment will partner with the Alzheimer’s Association at Minglewood Hall March 7 for the second annual ”Stetsons and Stars — Cowboy Up for Alzheimer’s” fundraiser.

Lisa Bobal, regional development director for the Alzheimer’s Association, described ”Stetsons and Stars” as a unique event.

“Everyone wears cowboy attire,” she said. “We have a mechanical bull and a Nashville band, KingBilly. The space is decorated country-western style with an actual saloon bar.”

The Harrah’s Entertainment code of commitment calls for sharing its financial success by donating 1 percent of the company’s profits to civic and charitable causes. It is also Harrah’s policy to encourage employees to embrace voluntarism … (read more)


We’ll build memories in the new house, too

“Because I Said So” column for The Commercial Appeal

February 19, 2009

I recently moved my family from the house we had lived in for almost 12 years.

It was our first home, which Kristy and I bought when she was pregnant with our oldest, Calvin. At two bedrooms, one bath and 1,240 square feet, it was just the right size for a starter home. Even after our second child, Joshua, came along, it fit us just fine; boys are meant to share a room.

And then the third, Somerset, arrived and things became a bit snug. Kristy and I moved from a bedroom into the den in the back of the house because a little girl required her own room. The new set-up was a little unorthodox, but we did what we could with what we had … (read more)


Supply in Demand

“Corporate Giving” story for The Commercial Appeal

February 13, 2009

When people need help, they call on friends. When staff at the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association saw hard times looming for their Emergency Services program, they called on Medtronic.

“MIFA Emergency Services is one of the oldest programs for MIFA,” says Margaret Craddock, executive director of the nonprofit community service organization. “It provides financial assistance for those who suddenly lose income.” In the current economic downturn, she said, “there is a tremendous increase in need we’re seeing.” … (read more)


Patience is tough when waiting for special ‘snip’

“Because I Said So” column for The Commercial Appeal

February 5, 2009

I don’t mind waiting when I go for a haircut; I’m grateful, in fact, for the opportunity to peruse magazines in search of a new style. And when I go to get the oil changed, they can take their time getting to the Volvo; I’m patient enough with bad coffee and worse daytime television.

But when I’m going in to get my, we’ll say “coupons” clipped (this is a family paper), I need that to happen at the appointed time, at the moment I show up and the paperwork is complete. I don’t want to have to wait because, the fact is, it’s taken me 38 years to work up the nerve to get to that moment. In fact, everything I’ve done up until that appointment, from puberty until I walked in the door of the Conrad Pearson Clinic, has gone to keeping a scalpel, or scissors, away from my coupons, which have been tucked up safely in my Sports … (read more)


Exchange Club focuses on improving lives of children

Corporate Giving story for The Commercial Appeal

January 30, 2009

The mission of The Exchange Club Family Center is to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect by replacing violent behavior with effective parenting skills.

The club’s executive director, Barbara King, oversees 30 staff members in more than 20 programs, which helped more than 5,000 families in the area last year.

The Exchange Club’s focus is on domestic violence programs, counseling and mediation. In 2007, Memphis police received more than 60,000 911 emergency calls for domestic-abuse situations.

“There is no other agency like this in the city,” says King of The Exchange Club … (read more)


Donors offer guidelines for sharing

Corporate Giving story for The Commercial Appeal

January 23, 2009

Some highly successful Memphis business people met Thursday at the Salvation Army headquarters to talk about how they make decisions to donate their money and time to charitable organizations.

On the panel were Society of Entrepreneur members Dick Barnhart, retired CEO of Barnhart Crane and Rigging; Mike Bruns, president of Comtrak Logistics; Charles Ewing, president and CEO of Ewing Moving Service Inc.; and Bernice “Buzzy” Hussey, owner of Babcock Gifts.

In the audience of more than 30 were representatives of some of this city’s most giving organizations, including the Church Health Center, Junior League, Memphis Leadership Foundation and AGAPE … (read more)


Any way you slice it, dad just can’t cut it

“Because I Said So” column for The Commercial Appeal

January 22, 2009

In an effort to save some cash in this economic recession, I’ve recently begun keeping my 2-year-old daughter, Genevieve, at home two days a week instead of sending her to daycare. So far it’s going well.

The time together gives us a chance to bond, to watch “Dora,” to argue over whether a ham-and-cheese sandwich should be cut into rectangles or triangles.

And to nap, while she’s making my sandwich … (read more)