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Season of Wishes: Pleasant Acre in need of wheelchair lift

LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Pleasant Acre Day School Director Mary Ann Foggo-Eidt helps student Sarah Cichirillo try on a wig Friday afternoon for their upcoming “Salute to Broadway” Christmas Party.

NATCHEZ — Pleasant Acre Day School Director Mary Ann Foggo-Eidt is hoping her Christmas angels return to the school this year to help out with the holiday wish list.

Foggo-Eidt said the school itself does not really need any attention, as “Christmas angels” took care of a termite-ridden wall and replaced the school’s windows and ceiling last year.

This year, Foggo-Eidt is hoping for a gift that will make transporting the school’s students on trips much easier.

Pleasant Acre is a day-treatment program for adult, trainable, mentally challenged students. The curriculum in place helps students acquire life skills and self-help skills through life enrichment programs.

The students go bowling every Monday, out to eat once a month and on occasional trips to Biloxi.

Foggo-Eidt said those trips are becoming increasingly difficult for the aging students with physical disabilities because the school’s 1997 15-passenger van does not have a wheelchair lift.

“I’m not sure if the van can even have a lift installed on it or if we’re going to need a new van,” she said.

Foggo-Eidt previously tried a ramp for the van, but she said it did not meet the needs of the students.

Another big wish at the school this year, Foggo-Eidt said, is help filling the hole left in the school’s budget after it lost one of its fundraisers.

The school sold baked casseroles donated by local cooks at the November arts and crafts show at the Natchez Convention Center, but Foggo-Eidt said since the show has not happened in two years, she is having trouble making up those funds.

“It’s really knocked a big hole in our budget,” she said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the school can mail checks to P.O. Box 1362, Natchez, MS, 39121 or contact Foggo-Eidt at 601-442-2264.