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May 11, 2004

Parsons ' Pledge awards $10000 to three charities

From: OurSports Central (press release), WI - May 11, 2004

May 11, 2004 - SOUTHAVEN, Miss.—Parsons' Pledge endowed fund recently made donations to Palmer Home for Children and Memphis Oral School for the Deaf.

RiverKings team captain Don Parsons presented the Palmer Home with $2,500 when the children's home recently opened its third cottage. The cottages are designed so that four to six children can live with two house parents in a family-type setting.

"It was really nice," Parsons said. "The cottages are beautiful. They sit on a large tract of land with a nice, big man-made lake for the kids to fish out of and enjoy. It's wonderful to think that children who have been dealt such a tough hand in life will be living in such a good, comforting environment."

Palmer Home's residents come from a variety of circumstances. They may come to Palmer Home because of the death of a parent; their parents or the relatives with whom they are staying become ill and are no longer able to care for them; occasionally, they must come to Palmer Home because a parent is incarcerated.

"We are known for keeping siblings together," said Pam Criger, Palmer Home Director of Administrative Services. "Among the children currently living on the Hernando campus, we have sibling groups of six brothers and sisters, three-year-old twins, three sisters and two sisters. Our goal is to keep families together."

Palmer Home's first campus opened in Columbus, Miss., in 1895, and 85 children currently live there. Eventually the organization hopes to care for 120 children in DeSoto County. In the next decade, they would like to see nine more cottages built in order to meet the needs of even more children.

Palmer Home does not solicit or accept direct state or federal government aid and depends on voluntary gifts from interested individuals, churches, foundations, and corporations.

Parsons' Pledge also donated $5,000 to the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf, where his daughter Maggy is enrolled in the Parent-Infant Training Program. Maggy received a cochlear implant last year and is learning to talk. The school is a United Way Agency; and scholarships are available through funding from the school's volunteer support group, Subsidium.

In addition, the Pledge donated $2,500 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in April as part of Parsons' candidacy for "Man of the Year." Parsons ran in honor of his father, Don Sr., who is a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patient and raised more than $16,500 for the Society.

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