By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Peppers Ranch Foster Care Community is the recipient of the 2016 Mary Eddy Jones Signature Gift. The $75,000 grant will be used to create projects on the ranch to honor the late Mary Eddy Jones, a civic leader, patron of the arts, and a philanthropist.
The grant provides funding for four specific projects to be completed on the Peppers Ranch property.
The largest project is the creation of the Giving Tree Orchard honoring and remembering the life of Mary Eddy Jones. The orchard will be equipped with 100 fruit trees and rows of berry bushes, which will produce jams, jellies and preserves for the Mary Eddy Jones Canning Kitchen, which is located on site at Peppers Ranch.
The grant also allows Peppers Ranch to build the Jones Outdoor Plant Pavilion, a covered pavilion with potting tables, water access, tools and storage. The pavilion will serve as a space for community events and local grower presentations.
The addition of ten beehives in various locations across the 300 acre Peppers Ranch’s will help to facilitate pollination of the ranch’s crops and those of the surrounding property owners.
Lastly, the grant funds will provide abundant landscaping to beautify the property; specifically in the area of the Ranch’s sewer lagoon.
A press release states that the grant incorporates Mrs. Jones’ favorite colors, flowers, native grasses, and herbs. The grant money will be used to create land she would call a “masterpiece.”
Each of these improvements is designed to maximize the children’s ability to learn and grow while at the ranch.
“These are truly transformational gifts for Peppers Ranch and our 13 families and 110 children that live here,” said Tonya Ratcliff, executive director of the Peppers Ranch Foster Care Community.
“We strive to create a nurturing community where children can learn and grow in loving supportive homes, and the orchard, the pavilion and the landscaping and beautification, all help provide a truly special place for these children.”
The Fred Jones Family Foundation created the Mary Eddy Jones Signature Gift in 2010 in honor of the late Mary Eddy Jones, wife of Fred Jones, “to continue her legacy in the areas to which she was so devoted,” the release stated.
“The grant in my grandmother’s name has been able to help many outstanding nonprofits and charities in central Oklahoma,” said Kirk Hall, president of the Fred Jones Family Foundation. “We are honored to support Peppers Ranch Foster Care Community and everything they do for children in need.”
The Fred Jones Family Foundation is a nonprofit and charitable foundation dedicated to support the 501(c)(3) organizations that increase the quality of life in central Oklahoma through projects dedicated to cultural growth and beautification. To learn more about the Fred Jones Family Foundation, visit www.fredjonesfamilyfoundation.com.
Founded in 1999, the Peppers Ranch Foster Care Community’s mission is to “break the cycle” of child abuse and neglect through loving homes, counseling, and growth-oriented activities. The goal of Peppers Ranch is to become home to as many of Oklahoma’s abused and neglected children as possible.
By providing the necessary resources and services to foster parents, Peppers Ranch sustains a commitment to the children in their care.
“Our fight for the greater good will not cease until every Oklahoma child has a safe place to call home, and a family equipped with love and resources to care for them,” Ratcliff added.
For more information about the Peppers Ranch Foster Care Community, visit www.peppersranch.com.