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Released September 14, 2004

By David Tisdale

HATTIESBURG - The University of Southern Mississippi Children's Center for Communication and Development scored big Tuesday with a donation from an alumnus known for scoring big on the football field.

Founded by former Southern Miss and current Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre and his wife, Deanna, the Brett Favre Forward Foundation provided $25,000 to the center to be used for construction of therapy rooms for clients and observation rooms for parents of children who receive services at the center.

"Our foundation works with disabled and disadvantaged children," said Deanna Favre, who presented the check to the center's co-director, Margaret Buttross-Brinegar, and a former client of the center, Andy Kodger. "I liked what I saw (after touring the center), the quality of the teachers and the instruction, and how they prepare the children to transition to schools. Obviously, it's a very worthy cause."

The Children's Center provides services throughout Mississippi for infants, toddlers and preschoolers with communication and developmental disabilities.

Presently, the center is holding a major fund-raising campaign to raise $350,000 to modify building space on the Hattiesburg campus to make it appropriate for its special population of children, graduate students, families, and trainees. These modifications will allow the center to make a difference in the lives of the children it serves, as well as the thousands of children who will ultimately be served by the graduates and practitioners who receive training for this very special population.

The Brett Favre Forward Foundation has contributed approximately $200,000 to charities so far in 2004, both in Mississippi and in Wisconsin. Some of the recipients of the foundation's generosity include the Salvation Army, the Association for Retarded Citizens and Hope Haven (a home for neglected and abused children) among other charities.

"We're very honored to receive this gift," Buttross-Brinegar said. "The Favre Foundation has done some really great work in our community."


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October 22, 2004 5:30 PM