In 2015, United Way of West Georgia asked a group of committed volunteers to come together to create a Women’s Leadership Council. The council was named the Magnolia Society, representing the strength of a Southern Magnolia, and how it’s rooted foundation grows into prosperous branches. Since then, the Magnolia Society has grown into a diverse group of women raising funds in support of our signature issue: early childhood education by way of our signature fundraising event, LaGrange Has Talent.
Signature Issue: Early childhood education
Children in West Georgia are reaching kindergarten with vastly different experiences—some are reading by the time they enter Pre-K and others come without exposure to basic ideas such as colors, shapes and letters.
With so much of a child’s brain development happening before the age of five, it’s critical to reach children and parents as soon as possible and in as many ways as possible. United Way of West Georgia and Magnolia Society play an important role in leading much-needed community change around early childhood education.
A child’s brain develops 80% of its capacity by the time he or she reaches the age of three.
By five, the brain has developed to 90% of its capacity. Many parents assume education starts in kindergarten, when in actuality, it needs to start at birth.
If a child enters kindergarten behind, their chances of reading on grade level by third grade are much slimmer. If that child isn’t reading on grade level by third grade, they are four times less likely to graduate from high school.
We are committed to expanding our reach every year, making early childhood education a priority for all throughout West Georgia.
Signature Fundraising Event
Since 2011, The Magnolia Society has raised approximately $165,000 for Early Learning programs to promote school readiness through our signature fund raising event, LaGrange Has Talent. The event takes place each November and showcases Troup County’s local talent. Performances range from singers to instrumentalist to magicians and more. All ages and talents are encouraged to participate!
If you are interested in participating in LaGrange Has Talent as an act or as a sponsor, go to www.lagrangehastalent.com.
Interested in volunteering to help with planning and event coordination? Please contact United Way of West Georgia at 706-884-8292.
2021 Grand Prize Winners, “Kite Strings”
Congratulations to Our 2021 Winners!
The LaGrange Has Talent 2021 Grand Prize Winners, “Kite Strings”, violin sibling trio, Jacob, Andrew, and Shealyn Kite won $2,000 and the hearts of the judges and crowd.
The People’s Choice Award, raising the most money and winners of $500, went to the band “Eleven Times Lola”. Band members were Benjamin Braden, Hudson Cauble, Ethan Duffield, Hope Headrick, DJ Hightower, Inman Huffman, Lennon Headrick-Bailey, Claudia Lundy, Tylynn Moncy, John Harden Roberts and Herra Thurman.
Membership in the Magnolia Society is open to any woman whose family unit donates at least $500 to United Way of West Georgia, Inc. Magnolia Society hosts an annual Spring Luncheon that is open to members and prospective members, as well as a fall member event.
In addition to those events, members are encouraged to participate in efforts to support our Signature Issue, Early Learning activities such as book distributions to physicians’ offices and public health offices, and book distributions to the summer feeding sites.