Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 9, 2013

Support center for mentally impaired plans November fundraiser to replace lost food

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — A malfunctioning refrigerator that led to the loss of $700 worth of meats and perishable goods has prompted a local nonprofit support organization for the mentally impaired to hold a fundraiser.

All money raised by this Cherokee County Peer Support effort will go toward replacing that food – and perhaps even creating a storage room to put lawn mowers and other supplies.

Cherokee County Peer Support, the aforementioned non-profit support center, will sponsor the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 16.

The group was created eight years ago through a state grant for consumer-operated services.

According to peer specialist Chriss Musick, as many as 30 clients can meet at the Jacksonville center each month. The group's current house located is at 415 Tilley; previously, they were located at 635 Nacogdoches Street.

The food fundraiser, meanwhile, takes place at the Jacksonville Public Library auditorium, associate Kelley Tackett explained.

"It's a great cause," she said. "Art therapy is well known to help the mentally ill, some famous artists were bipolar."

CCPS has an art class on Mondays that many talented artists attend, officials said.

"We do all the art and framing," Tackett said. "On Wednesday we have a support group. On both days we feed lunch. We just recently moved into this 'house' on Tilley.

“When the movers brought in the refrigerator, they plugged it into a non-working plug and we lost right about $700 in meats and cold stuff,” she continued. “Right now we are low on funds. So we are putting on this art show to raise money to try and replace some of the food, and hopefully create that storage room. "

There will be different kinds of art on display, from chalk to collages to paintings, Tackett said.

A student at a local junior college, Tackett said she has asked an art professor to recruit any budding young artists he can find who are willing to donate a painting or paintings.

"We will be having their artwork as well," she said.

The group was the focus of a previous art show – titled the “Sweet 'Art' Show – at the library. Hosted by Musick, this silent auction specifically featured artwork by CCPSG clients, staff and supporters. Some 33 pieces – created using paint, pencil, mixed media and photography – were set up in the library meeting room.

Tackett said that much like last time, the group is hoping to drum up some friends, compassion and support.

"We have quite a few that come," she said. "We always have art work for sale that is hanging on the walls at the support house."

To inquire more about the fundraiser, contact Tackett at 903-330-9871.