Our donors: Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation donates $1M to Campaign
Published on Sunday, December 1, 2019
By: Annie Oeth, firstname.lastname@example.org
A playground at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s seven-story pediatric expansion will be a reminder of the generosity of two organizations: The Gayle & Tom Benson Charitable Foundation and Sanderson Farms.
On Sept. 26, UMMC announced a $1 million donation from the foundation to the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi, the philanthropic effort to bring the children’s hospital expansion to completion. The gift will also create the Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation Playground in honor of Sanderson Farms.
“This gift is just phenomenal,” said Dr. Mary Taylor, Suzan B. Thames Chair, professor and chair of pediatrics at UMMC. “Children’s of Mississippi cares about the health and welfare of all of the children in the state, and a big part of children’s health is play. This new playground will give the children who come to our hospital and clinics a space where they can have fun.”
Gayle Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, said joining Children’s of Mississippi in the organization’s goal of helping all of the state’s children reach their full potential was a choice she was happy to make, noting the “tremendous support from our teams’ fans in Mississippi.”
Benson chose to honor Sanderson Farms in the naming of the playground because of the dedication of its CEO and board chairman Joe Sanderson Jr. “His dedication to the community and especially its children is truly inspiring,” she said.
In 2016, Sanderson and his wife, Kathy, launched the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi with a $10 million personal gift. The Campaign, which they chair, has raised more than 77 percent of
its $100 million goal.
Sanderson Farms is the title sponsor of the Sanderson Farms Championship, held at the Country Club of Jackson in September. More than $6.2 million has been raised through the PGA TOUR event to benefit Mississippi’s only children’s hospital since the company’s commitment to the event in 2013.