Ella's Hope wins Pepsi Refresh grant
|Ella plays with her mother, Hope, during a visit to the Thompson Center
The McPheeters, whose daughter Ella inspired the creation of the organization, said Ella was excited to learn that the organization won. Ella was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. Her parents recognized the benefits of early intervention when Ella began progressing due to her therapy. It is because of Ella’s success that Ella’s Hope exists. One goal of the foundation is to raise support for families who cannot afford similar therapy.
Ella’s Hope first applied for the Pepsi Refresh grant in June, 2010. It took six months to win. Hope Malone McPheeters, Ella’s Hope director, said the organization will receive the money in two parts. One half of the funds will be awarded in January, the other half will be given in August.
McPheeters said they plan to donate $5,000 to the Thompson Center in Columbia for early intervention of 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.
The contest brought more than just the monetary award. McPheeters said it also raised awareness for Ella’s Hope.