In November of 2021, Canopy partnered with the Corey Dickerson Foundation to host the first annual Canopy Golf Classic in support of Canopy’s Autism Solutions. A day of family, friendly competition and lots of fun, this event was attended by little leaguers, Major League Baseball (MLB) players, and everyone in between. The tournament raised over $125,000 to fund Canopy’s Autism Solutions offered by Canopy.
The Corey Dickerson Foundation – founded by MLB outfielder Corey Dickerson, his wife Beth Anne, and their children Davis, Miller and Vivianne – is committed to helping children on the autism spectrum thrive, specifically in Mississippi. When the family chose to make autism their platform, they began searching for an organization with whom they could partner, but found that with many of the national institutions, the only form of “partnership” offered comes through financial donations. When they found Canopy, however, they found a place where they could be actively involved in a hands-on way.
“Nothing is farfetched. You tell Canopy, and you just know everything that they do is done correctly,” says Beth Anne. “They share our same passions. It’s so great to work with people that are equally excited about everything that’s going on.”
When Corey and Beth Anne decided to pursue a partnership with Canopy, they began by touring the Early Intervention Autism Clinics in Jackson, where they met Dr. Christopher Furlow and other Canopy staff. The knowledge and passion of those they encountered, along with the quality of the center itself, left a deep impact on the pair. Recalling this experience, Beth Anne states, “Everything is top of the line. Everything is the best equipment. We were just really impressed.” After this tour, the Dickersons felt both confident and peaceful about their decision to partner with Canopy.
Through the Corey Dickerson Foundation, the Dickerson family is dedicated to supporting all children on the spectrum, but their inspiration stems from one child – a little girl named Hadlee Ingram. Daughter of Beth Anne’s lifelong best friend and her husband, Kaitlyn and Jordan Ingram, Hadlee was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 2. A few short years later, the Ingram family’s second daughter, Amberly, was diagnosed with autism as well.
Though the Ingram family lived in Mississippi and had unique access to medical resources through Jordan’s position as an emergency medicine physician, they still struggled to find quality, affordable and timely treatment. The waitlists for ABA therapy in MS were well over a year long. Armed with the knowledge that early intervention is crucial to treating autism, the family began driving to Jackson, TN to find care for their daughters. Though the treatment was high-quality and they were able to start immediately, it was not covered by insurance, meaning they had to pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket each month.
“It just really opened our eyes to the lack of awareness and service in MS,” Beth Anne says as she remembers watching her friend struggle. “We saw a serious need and shortage in our state.”
Along with raising funds, Corey and Beth Anne hope to raise awareness for Canopy’s Autism Solutions. From Early Intervention Clinics to school-based solutions to The Canopy School (opening fall 2022), Canopy provides individualized treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder, as well as for children with an array of other learning differences or behavioral issues. The Dickersons used the Canopy Golf Classic to inform the public of these solutions and hope to continue raising awareness and financial support through future events. This partnership may be just beginning, but everyone involved is excited to see where it will go.
The entire Canopy staff all share the same passion and mission. It’s just so evident. It’s truly such a special organization. Everyone is just so full of passion for helping children.
– Beth Anne Dickerson