Desoto County News

Crystal Ball celebrates “Causes That Matter”

The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi (CFNM) held its 24th Crystal Ball event Saturday night at the Southaven Arena, with over 1,000 on hand to dine, dance, and support what the Foundation does to enhance the life of those who live in the 11-county area. The theme of the evening used a line from James Bond in his movies, “Shaken, Not Stirred.”

The CFNM works with the mission of “Connecting People Who Care With Causes The Matter,” and part of the evening activities was to honor those who have made a special impact on the 11-county region as Community Stars.  

The 2024 Community Stars honored during the evening were Mat Lipscomb of Lake Cormorant as Dan Maddox Man of the Year, Nan Sanders of Cleveland, Mississippi as Margaret Maddox Woman of the Year, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as Nonprofit of the Year, and Silo Square as Business of the Year.  

Former pro football player Patrick Willis was named the 2024 Star of Hope. Willis, who played college football at Ole Miss before a stellar career with the San Francisco 49ers, has made an impact beyond his on-field performance with the Whinker’s Mind Youth Fund, which provides all-weather low impact athletic equipment. He also has provided support to his high school alma mater, Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central, in Tennessee.  

As part of the presentation, CFNM provided Willis his honorarium and matched it for a total of $10,000 to the Whinker’s Mind Youth Fund.  

CFNM, through its grant support, has distributed about $40 million in grants since its inception in 2002. Its grant impact in 2023 amounted to more than $2.55 million.  

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