JA of Tupelo Charity Ball provides funds to help children throughout year

The 60th Charity Ball is a party with a purpose

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – It is a night of glamour and fun, all for a great cause. The 60th annual Junior Auxiliary of Tupelo Charity Ball is taking place at the Cadence Bank Arena.

It is the only fundraiser for the organization and proceeds from that event help thousands of children every year.

It is a Tuesday afternoon and Lesley Tackitt and Ginger Harbour are organizing new items at the Clothes Closet.

The clothes closet is the largest project for the Junior Auxiliary of Tupelo. It helps provide clothes for students in Tupelo and Lee County schools.

“All our JA members provide donations of clothing and the budget is used to purchase all new shoes, underwear, and socks for children,” said Tackitt.

And there are a lot of clothes. The rooms in the clothes closet are divided up according to age and gender. School counselors refer needy children to the Junior Auxiliary and a shopping day is selected.

“They get to have a shopping experience at the clothes closet that day where they select all their clothes and shoes and usually go out of here with a renewed sense of confidence and a big smile, so it’s great,” Tackitt said.

Although it takes a lot of work to keep the clothes closet organized and stocked, the ladies said it is all worth it when they get to be part of a child’s shopping outing.

“Had a young boy who had never had a pair of socks before and he was so thrilled to receive a pair of socks that he sat down on the floor and put them on right then. So in moments like those, you have to kind of keep your composure and not start crying, but they are so excited and grateful and thankful,” Tackitt said.

“Seeing the kids walk out of here with confidence, when they get new shoes, toiletries, fresh clothes. But one little boy stands out in particular, because every time he tried on something you could tell he loved that article of clothing, he would moonwalk out of the dressing room, he felt good and that’s the best thing you can provide for these children,” Harbour said.

The Clothes Closet is just one of nine projects funded by the Charity Ball. The night of glitz and glamour is definitely a party with a purpose.

The Outstanding Citizen of the Year is also announced during the Charity Ball. Find out who this year’s recipient is, Saturday on WCBI News.

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