Third annual Great Start

Published 11:36 am Thursday, August 20, 2009

One hundred and twenty-five children from Dowagiac and Cassopolis schools grades 1-4 selected to participate in the McLoughlin Family Foundation third annual “Great Start ’09” bused to Benton Harbor Target Thursday morning for back-to-school supplies and clothes. Selection was based on several factors, including school achievement, strong work habits, attendance and good attitude.

McLoughlin Family Foundation is privately funded and began 12 years ago. Its main goal is to contribute to local charities that fall outside the reach of larger national organizations. It focuses primarily on children and families.

“Great Start” is based on a program developed by professional golfer Phil Mickelson.
Students and one of their parents could shop from a list of pre-selected merchandise that included shirts, sweaters, hoodies, jeans, pants, skirts, underwear, socks, shoes, coats, backpacks and books. Each student was able to purchase items totaling $200. The entire cost of the shopping spree was paid for by the McLoughlin Family Foundation. Target provided snacks to eat on the bus ride back.