Ella's Hope Wins Pepsi Refresh Project
COLUMBIA - Ella's Hope was a finalist in the Pepsi Refresh Project and will receive $25,000. Only ten projects made the cut and Ella's Hope just made it in as a finalist at number ten.
The organization is in the process of filling out paperwork now for Pepsi and will receive the first half of the funds this month. Hope Malone McPheeters, Ella's Hope director, said the organization will recieve the other half of the funds in August.
McPheeters said they plan to donate $5,000 to the Thompson Center in Columbia for early intervention to autism, $5,000 to the Kenny Rogers Children's Center for autism in Sikeston, $10,000 for an autism awareness walk, and $5000 to go into savings for the organization and may eventually go to fund other autism entities.
McPheeters who is also Ella's mother, the little girl who inspired the creation of the organization, said Ella was excited to learn that the organization won.
The contest brought more than just the monetary award. McPheeters said it also raised awareness for Ella's Hope.
The next step for the organization will involve connecting with the two autism centers, it plans to give money to, and preparing for an autism fundraiser walk in April.