Supervisors donate to many groups
by Paisley Boston
Dec 17, 2013 | 1469 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bolivar County Board of Supervisors recently donated $5,000 to the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation and Board Attorney Linda Coleman said the county is allowed to donate funds to organizations under specific guidelines and statues.

The foundation received the donation from Bolivar County's advertising fund.

Founder and CEO of the Fannie Lou Cancer Foundation Freddie White-Johnson, assured supervisors the county would receive recognition for its contribution in the foundation's brochure and would be placed under the list of donors.

According to Mississippi Code 17-3-1 the board of supervisors of any county in Mississippi, and the mayor and board of aldermen or board of commissioners of any municipality in the State of Mississippi, may in their discretion, set aside, appropriate and expend moneys, not to exceed one mill of their respective valuation and assessment for the purpose of advertising and bringing into favorable notice the opportunities, possibilities and resources of such municipality county.

According to Bolivar County Chancery Clerk Brenett Haynes, these laws have been established by the legislation in Jackson and are governed by the state.

"The county is allowed to donated to organizations or entities under specific and strict guidelines. The board of supervisors abides specifically by the laws that have been outlined by the state," said Haynes.

"Although the county is allowed to give at its discretion, it can only donate up to one mill of its funds," she added.

According to Haynes, one mill for Bolivar County is around $240,000.

These funds are generated through revenue that comes into the county from multiple sources such as taxes, mobile home property, car tags and etc.

Before the board of supervisors approved the donation, Coleman gave an update on the mill that remained in the county's advertising budget.

"The county is currently at $135,000 in terms of the things that you all contribute to advertising and other county resources," said Coleman.

The Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation is not the only entity that is or has received funds from the county.

"We have many entities that receive donations from the county. Some of the entities include The American Red Cross, Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, Alcorn State University, Bolivar County Junior Livestock, South Delta, Delta Council — we have a lot of them," Haynes said.

According to Johnson, she has received donations from several counties.

"I work across the state of Mississippi to provide individuals with knowledge and free medical exams. I recently setup a booth outside of Cleveland Wal-Mart — I passed out literature about breast cancer and I offered free breast exams to several women," said Johnson.

In a previous board of supervisors meeting, members of the board seemed elated about giving a small donation to the foundation.

"I think we will be helping a good cause. The foundation has helped a lot of people in Bolivar County that have been stricken with cancer. I have seen first hand the amount of work that the foundation has done," said Supervisor Larry King.

Supervisor James McBride said, "If it was up to me, I would give the foundation $5 million. I know what it is like to deal with cancer and this lady has helped so many people in Bolivar County."

According to Johnson, she has even aided individuals that have been stricken with cancer within the county.

"I have assisted over 80 women in Bolivar County in receiving free mammograms, pap smears and my foundation has even provided monetary donations to individuals who travel far distances to receive medical treatment," said Johnson.

According to Johnson, in 2012, the Foundation helped 423 women receive mammograms, and of the 423 women, 21 percent of them were diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Cancer does not discriminate on the basis of gender or race. It can affect anyone, and that is why I am dedicated to aid in the prevention or early detection of cancer among individuals who live in rural communities. All surrounding communities should come out and support the fight against breast cancer," said Johnson.

White-Johnson also mentioned the University of Southern Mississippi works together with the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation to address cancer health disparities in Mississippi, particularly in the Mississippi Delta and Dr. Nathaniel Brown of Cleveland serves on the board for the foundation.