Kiwanis shifts focus due to pandemic

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 20, 2021

For a second year, Special Olympics will not be held in Pearl River County due to the pandemic, but the Kiwanis Club of Greater Picayune Area still found a way to support students with special needs in two local school districts.
The Kiwanis Club has been supporting the event locally for over 30 years, said club president Tom Milar.

“What we’ve been doing is finding alternative avenues to help,” he said.
The club has offered $12,000 total in grant funds to the Picayune School District and Pearl River County School District. The funds will be used to purchase two smart boards and handicap accessible playground equipment.
Picayune schools requested the smart boards, which are similar to a large tablet and can interact with students virtually, said Milar.

A gifted teacher at Southside Elementary School also requested handicap accessible playground equipment, which the club will be funding. A wheelchair swing will allow kids to feel more like “part of the team” during recess at the elementary school, said Milar.

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The Pearl River Central School District also requested a commercial wheelchair swing for the elementary school, said Milar.

The grant funding for all three projects will be awarded during the club’s annual golf tournament fundraiser on March 19. The tournament is the club’s primary fundraiser. Local businesses can sponsor the event and teams of three can register to compete.

The club’s mission is to help special needs citizens, both children and adults, and does so by supporting organizations like Bridgeway and sponsoring events like Buddy Ball.

For more information on Kiwanis, contact Tom Milar at 601-273-2131.