Congratulations to Misty Pharez of Perkinston! Misty is the winner of United Way of South Mississippi’s (UWSM) Fourth Annual Nifty 50 Raffle. 

Misty’s winning ticket was pulled during the raffle drawing on Oct. 28 at Patio 44 in Gulfport. Seventy other prizes, donated by local businesses, were also given away. 

The raffle drawing was broadcast live on the organization’s Facebook page and the grand prize was broadcast live on the WLOX 6:30 broadcast. Tickets for the raffle, which were $100, were on sale between July 29 and Oct. 26.

Funds raised from UWSM’s raffle, which is in its fourth year, will be reinvested into the community through Community Impact grants. UWSM, which serves Hancock, Harrison, Pearl River and Stone counties, granted $430,000 in the 2021-2023 grant cycle to 12 area nonprofits who work in the areas of health, education and financial stability. To date, UWSM has also granted nearly $405,000 to area nonprofits to help individuals directly affected by COVID-19.

In addition to the Community Impact grants, UWSM awards short-term emergency and emerging needs grants. The organization also organizes and administers many community programs, including PreK4Ward, a kindergarten prep program; the SingleCare prescription savings cards; Fill the Bus, an annual school supply drive; Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library book program; and free tax preparation services, through VITA.

These grants and programs are made possible by generous donors, said UWSM CEO Kathy Springer.

“Our communities support us in amazing ways, from individual and corporate gifts to buying tickets for the Nifty 50 raffle,” she said. “Without that support, we wouldn’t be able to offer any of our grants or programs.”

Springer said she is already looking forward to the fifth annual raffle, which will kick off in August 2022.


Additional Prize Winners

  • Walter Anderson Museum of Art: Household Membership and WAMA Swag-Elisa Radich
  • Bellingrath Gardens & Homes: Family 4-Pack Tickets, Gardens Only-Sharon Cameron
  • Vera Bradley Factory Outlet: Travel Bag & Lighten Essential-Tara Boutoille
  • Don Murray: 3-Night Stay in South Carolina Cabin-Elaine D’Aunoy
  • Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company: Gift Card-Christopher Fargo
  • Big Play Entertainment Center: Silver Party Package-Pamela Hymel
  • AGJ Systems & Networks: JBL Earbuds and Amazon Echo Dot-Roianne Gutierrez
  • Lynn Meadows Discovery Center: Family 4-Pack Museum Admission, Frito-Lay: Cutting Board and Socks, MeLinda’s Fine Gifts & More: Sweet Pickle Chips, PitStop Carwash: Good Bag-Elizabeth Ladner
  • Mississippi Power: Two Umbrellas, Cooler, Two Totes, Tumbler & Golf Balls-Marilyn Sefton
  • Hilton Garden Inn, Gulfport: One-Night Stay in King Suite-John Payton Hood
  • Salon Alexander’s: Hair Cut by Alex, Jada-Bug’s Gifts Vinyl & Blanks: Gift Card, PitStop Carwash: Goodie Bag-Ron Barnes
  • Zaxby’s: One Large Chicken Platter & One Small Chicken Platter-Jennifer Walker
  • Sparklight: Amazon Fire Tablet & Jeffery Simmons Signed Football-Billie Melah
  • Favre4Hope: Brett Favre #4 Jersey-Brian Thomas
  • Regions Bank: Green Regions Bike and Helmet-Lori Gloyd Rolison
  • The Rack House Steak & Spirits: Gift Cards-Gwyn Diaz
  • Gulf Islands Waterpark: Two One-Day Tickets-Sabrina Hefty
  • Love, ivy Boutique: Gift Card-Angela Crossen
  • Seaside Fitness: One Month Unlimited Membership-Al & Carol Shiyou
  • Piltz, Williams, LaRosa & Co.-Two Target Gift Cards and One Bloomin’ Brands Gift Card-Ron Barnes
  • Kern Optical Laboratory: INVU Sunglasses-Amanda Simmons
  • Chick-fil-A: Four Catering Trays, Sunglasses, Shirt, Hat, Tumbler & Stuffed Cow-Jerry Schmuck
  • Beau Rivage Resort & Casino: One-Night Stay & Food and Beverage Credit-Charlie Oakes
  • Mary Mahoney’s Old French House: Gallon of Seafood Gumbo-Andrew Yarger
  • Salute Italian and Seafood Restaurant: Gift Certificates-Dave Gordon
  • Courtyard by Marriott, Gulfport Beach: Two-Night Stay-Christin LeBoeuf
  • French Kiss Pastries: 8-Inch Strawberry Bavarian Cake, PitStop Carwash: Goodie Bag-Linda Skinner
  • Aztecas Restaurant & Cantina, Gulfport: Gift Cards-Michelle Earnest
  • Victoria Lynn Boutique: Earrings, French Drug Co.: Southern Mud Pottery Cross, PitStop Carwash: Goodie Bag-Barry Fitts
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse: Three-Course Dinner for Two-Lynn Vic-Vincent
  • Island View Casino Resort: One-Night Stay and Gift Card to Carter Green Steakhouse-Bridget Turan
  • Hard Rock Hotel and Casino: Guitar and Framed Poster Autographed by David Allen Coe-Raven Ladner
  • Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum: 2.5 Hour Walk Aboard the Biloxi Schooner & Admission to Museum-Garrin Sauer
  • RPM Pizza (Domino’s): 12 Free Large One Topping Pizzas-John Dane III
  • Rouses Markets: Mini Blue Smoker-Catherine Myers
  • Todd Boswell Salon: Hair Cut with Sarah, Kern Optical Laboratory: OP Sunglasses-Michael O’Neill
  • F.E.B. Distributing Co., Inc.: Igloo Soft Backpack Cooler, Two Hates, Two T-shirts & Nine Sunglasses-Chris Jackson
  • Coastal Mardi Gras Museum: One-Time Admission for Four, Pooh’s Liquor: Bottle of Wine, PitStop Carwash: Goodie Bag-Angela Wingfield
  • Dressed in Blue Boutique: Gift Card, MeLinda’s Fine Gifts & More: Candle, PitStop Carwash: Goodie Bag-Kingsley Klosson
  • Simply Jane Clothing Co.: Earrings and Necklace, MeLinda’s Fine Gifts & More: Candle, PitStop Carwash: Goodie Bag-Carlos Martinez
  • Chicken Salad Chick, Gulfport: Six Gift Cards for the Chick Special, Two Lunch Boxes and Two Tervis Tumblers-Charles West
  • Hancock Whitney Bank: Four Stainless Steel Wine Glasses, Bottle of Wine, MS State Shaped Cutting Board & Insulated Wine Bag-Stephen Byrne
  • Texas Roadhouse, Gulfport: Gift Basket-William Yates
  • Coast Electric Power Association: Yeti Cooler-John Dane III
  • Golden Nugget Casino Hotel: Two-Night Stay and Property Resort Credit-Patrick Spayde
  • Humane Society of South Mississippi: Gift Certificate for One Annual Exam for Dog/Cat, Dog Toys, Treats, Leash, etc.-Jodi Trosclair
  • Mississippi Aquarium: Two Adult Tickets-Angie Carter
  • Biloxi Shuckers: Autographed Tristen Lutz Baseball, Beach Tote, T-shirt, Hat, Spatula, Stein Mug & Magnet, Pooh’s Liquor: Bottle of Wine-Kevin Chism
  • Palace Casino Resort: Four Rounds of Golf at the Preserve Club-Crystal Morgan
  • Cajun’s Fabulous Fried Chicken: Five All-You-Can-Eat-And-Drink for Two Certificates-Susan Waguespack
  • Gulf Coast Carnival Association: Invitation to 2022 Royal Reception-Katelyn Watts
  • Goodwill Industries of South MS: Gift Card-Michael Barnes
  • Acosta Veterinary Hospital: Basket with Dog Blanket, Bowl, Treat Jar, Picture Frame, Water Bottle, etc.-Sabrina Martin
  • Gulfport Coca-Cola Bottling Company: 24 Cases of 12oz Cans Fridge Pack-Troy Petterson
  • Martin Miazza Gifts: Caskata Crab Plate, Sadie Jane’s Famous Wreaths and Gifts: Gift Card-Charlotte Arledge
  • Waffle House, Inc.: Gift Basket-Crystal Morgan
  • Half Shell Oyster House: Two Gift Certificates-Ronald Taglieri
  • The Oaks Golf Club: Two-18 Hole Rounds of Golf with Cart: Louise Leckich
  • Robin’s Nest in the Pass: Badash 8′ Violet Vase, Gulf Coast Symphony: Cookbook, PitStop Carwash: Goodie Bag-Nicholas Breaux-Fujita
  • Robin’s Nest in the Pass: Sunburst Mother of Pearl Tray-John Hudson
  • Kellie’s Poor Boys: Gift Card, Paul’s Pastry Shop: Gift Card, Fatty’s Seafood Restaurant: Gift Card, PitStop Carwash: Goodie Bag-James Redmond
  • Millbrooke Golf & Country Club: Four Rounds of Golf: David Quigley
  • Walmart, Picayune: Gift Card-Shelia Alexander
  • Dad’s Camper Outlet: Gulfstream Conquest Rental-Leiann Small
  • Patio 44, Gulfport: Gift Card-Matthew Haver
  • Nella Home Interiors & Gifts: Platter by Split-P, PitStop Carwash: Goodie Bag-Clay Wagner
  • Sadie Jane’s Famous Wreaths & Gifts: Christmas Wreath-Kevin Lynch
  • Trustmark: Portfolio, Golf Club Cover, Tote, Blanket, Hat & Tumbler-Scott Kautzman
  • The Almanett Hotel & Bistro: Bistro Bucks-Dorothy Wilson