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Community made 2012 a great year

As we begin 2013, the Guardian Shelter for Battered Families, a program of Catholic Charities Inc., would like to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to the individuals and organizations of the Miss-Lou for their generosity to our organization during the 12 months of 2012.

Our fundraising activities for the year began with the Purple Dress Run and Pub Crawl in April. The primary individuals who donated their time and energy to the event were Renee Cantu, Rachael Idom Tuminello, Ryan Richardson and the shelter staff.

In June, we were honored to have Stevan Ridley return to our community for Hometown Huddle as part of his parents’ kickoff event to raise money for Ballet Magnificat!

We would like to thank the community for their support of the Hometown Huddle, as well as the organizations that provided items and events for our auction. A special thanks to Stevan for his time and for his personal items used for the auction as well.

We would also like to thank George Watkins and his cast of many for a special presentation of the play, “Ain’t no Sunshine When He’s Home,” presented in September. This cast of performers from New Orleans brought the issue of domestic violence as well as other social issues to the forefront in our community.

We ended our 2012 with a spectacular performance by Ballet Magnificat! Omega. The community attendance was the most we have seen during the past three years. We would like to thank Parkway Baptist Church for their continued sponsorship of this presentation. We also appreciate the work and support of the Sunday school class of Dr. and Mrs. Akinremi Akinwale, Robert and Dorothy Sylvester, Leon and Carolyn Ridley and Beatrice Owens for their hard work in so many areas to make this event one that Natchez can certainly be proud to have in their city. There are many people who help to make the dance company feel welcomed including food services by Mrs. Kay Jenkins with Natchez Regional Medical Center and the monetary support for all the ads purchased by many businesses and individuals throughout the Miss-Lou.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say a special thanks to the Iron Men’s Club of First Baptist Church of Natchez and the Rev. Doug Broome, who built and provided materials for an extra day care room for our older children at our new facility.

It was amazing the efficiency of this group to erect the room in such a short time frame. On Nov. 12, the City of Vidalia and the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center donated to us a check for proceeds they raised with their annual Mad Jax Carnival during the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race weekend. This is such an honor for us to be the recipient of these proceeds.

Last, but certainly not least is the holiday donations both in monetary gifts and in toys, food and adult gifts that we were able to have for our families during the Christmas season. The donations from churches, individuals and organizations came from several counties in Southwest Mississippi.

All of our families, those housed in the shelter as well as the families who are now living in the community, had a truly blessed holiday season.

As we begin 2013 in our new facility, which we moved into in March, we the staff of the Guardian Shelter for Battered Families are hopeful each of you know how honored we are to be a part of the wonderful Natchez community as well as surrounding communities.

Your donations to us as well as to our resale shop “The Guardian Collection” cannot be measured, and we could not do what we do for the women and children of domestic violence without your support.

Thanks to all.


Donna Miller is the program director of the Guardian Shelter.