Canopy Takes to the Country

Imagine the joy to be able to leave your worries behind and escape to a different world, even for a day. Thanks to a generous donor, Canopy’s youth were able to experience a day of fun in the country.

While the day was hot, a nice breeze blew across the open fields in Flora. The fishing poles were prepared with bait and hooks, the horses were saddled, jump houses inflated and there was an endless supply of funnel cakes and snow cone waiting to be enjoyed. Under a white tent, a collection of animals including a camel, kangaroo, goats, and an alpaca were waiting to be loved. The stage was set for the kids to arrive.


More than 60 youth and chaperones loaded charter buses in the parking lot of Broadmoor Baptist church in Madison. (This experience alone was exciting as very few of the kids, if any, had seen a bus with bath facilities onboard.) The buses weaved through the countryside passing open fields, rolling hills and beautiful remote houses scattering the distance. When the buses turned into the farm where the event was held, the kids could barely hold in their excitement.

As the kids exited the buses, they were greeted by a special guest—Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who was later joined by his wife, First Lady Deborah Bryant.

Gov. Phil Bryant

Planned activities for the day included a dunking booth, craft station, petting zoo, fishing, horseback riding, jump houses, karaoke, and a photo booth. The kids, which included children from CARES Center as well as children involved in Canopy’s Therapeutic Foster Care Program, spent time with volunteers taking in each activity with joy and excitement.

Horseback Riding

“Many of these activities are a first for our kids,” said John D. Damon, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer for Canopy Children’s Solutions. “These experiences create powerful memories and elicit strong emotions in our kids. What is the most powerful is that the kids realize this is something put together by volunteers—people they’ve never met before—just for them. While it looks like fun, it is also very therapeutic and we are grateful to the organizers who made this possible for our kids. It is an experience they won’t forget.”

FishingThe kids also enjoyed a catered meal of fried catfish, chicken, and the all the fixings. During the lunch break, several of the youth entertained the crowd singing their favorite songs.

As the day wound to a close, the kids gathered under the large tent with snow cones and funnel cakes to watch a magic show..Dorian the Magician


“What a great experience!” said Caitlin Mudd, program director for CARES Center. “The kids have enjoyed their custom t-shirts and hats they were given and have asked several times when they could go back.”Craft Station


Canopy is grateful to the donors and volunteers who helped make this event happen. Powerful partnerships with individuals and organizations give us the tools and opportunities to help children thrive.

Canopy Wine Tasting in Review

Canopy Children’s Solutions’ 2018 Wine Tasting & Silent Auction was held Saturday, April 21, at the home of Kerk and Elizabeth Mehrle in the Eastover Subdivision of Jackson. As a ‘thank you’ for hosting the event, the couple was presented with a watercolor painting of the family home by Mark Millet, which was on display.

The evening opened with a professional cooking demonstration of Pickled Shrimp, curated by Paul Adair, chef and co-owner of The Gathering restaurant in Livingston. The VIP hour also offered artisan libations from Krutz Family Cellars of Santa Rosa, California.

Wine Tasting Cooking Demo

The main event boasted live music from Sessions Trio and samplings from top area restaurants including The Pig & Pint, Saltine’s, Broad Street, La Brioche, Rooster’s, Soul Shine Pizza Factory and Magnolia Catering. The featured wine offerings were provided by Calistoga Wine & Spirits, Wine & Spirits Discount Center in The Quarter, McDade’s Wine & Spirits, Madison Cellars, Colony Wine Market and Joe T’s Wines & Spirits. Approximately 200 people participated in the event.

Proceeds from the Wine Tasting will benefit Canopy’s statewide programs serving the emotional, behavioral, educational and social needs of more than 5,000 Mississippi children.

Canopy wishes to thank the Canopy Auxiliary, which was instrumental in helping to coordinate the event. Thanks to the support of event sponsors, community partners and attendees, Canopy was able to raise more than $75,000!

Wine Tasting Sponsors

Help Canopy reach our Wine Tasting goal of $80,000 by clicking here.