Foundation Announces Gala Cancellation

July 23, 2020

Foundation logo

For the past 30 years, the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation has held the Annual Charity Gala, raising more than $200,000 annually for the Ayers Children’s Medical Center and the Kirkland Cancer Center.

At the July 23 meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees meeting, the group decided that the Gala scheduled for November 14 will not take place. “In the interest of the safety for our community, we have decided not to hold our Annual Charity Gala. With increased numbers of people in our communities testing positive, we did not want to risk spreading the virus because of our event,” stated Bill White, board chair.

The Annual Charity Gala is held at the Carl Perkins Civic Center each year with attendance of more than 600. Each year the gala brings in chefs, entertainment, and celebrities from all over the country. Local leaders are honored for their impactful service to our community with the Jackson Awards and a Tennessean is honored each year with the Tigrett Award.

Annually, Jim Norton transforms the Carl Perkins Civic Center into an amazing venue for the night. “Coordinating food with an amazing décor, we turn the room into an elegant get-away for the evening,” stated Norton.

“The Gala has been the largest fundraiser for the Foundation for decades. Hundreds of guests join us for a special night. It is sad that we cannot host the event, but we have the health of our community in mind,” stated Frank McMeen, President of the Foundation.

Now, more than ever before, our healthcare system is in need of your support. Between the suspension of non-essential services earlier this year and the costs associated with preparing for and caring for COVID-19 patients, our system has experienced multi-million dollar financial losses. It is more imperative than ever for the financial support generated from the annual charity Gala to be there.

While the Charity Gala is not being held, the Foundation is accepting donations to Ayers Children’s Medical Center and Kirkland Cancer Center to help offset the loss of funds generated by the event. Contributions can be mailed to The Foundation, 620 Skyline Drive, Jackson, TN 38301 or made on line at

The Foundation is in its 36th year of serving the Jackson area. With six chapters located in Bolivar, Camden, Humboldt, Martin, Milan, and Trenton, each chapter has a board to work to meet needs in their communities.

For more information on this press release, contact Frank McMeen at or 731-984-2143.

The Foundation:

The Foundation is a public foundation governed by a self-sustaining board, meaning that board members select their successors to the board. Now beginning its 36th year of operation, the Foundation is a gift to the community from West Tennessee Healthcare to promote charitable giving.

To learn more about the Foundation, its team, or the many ways it serves the community, visit or email Frank McMeen.