New HHS debate, theater support group hosts first event

New HHS debate, theater support group hosts first event

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Organizers of a new community initiative to help Hattiesburg High School speech, debate and theater students hosted their first fund-raising event Tuesday night.

The group Speak Up Hattiesburg held a barbecue plate event at Keg & Barrel.

It also featured live music.

The group is raising money to help offset reset budget cuts in the debate and theater program.

Ultimately, organizers hope to raise $100,000 for an endowment.

"Those funds used not only for tournament fees, but for lodging and the expenses associated with that have all been terminated," said Michael Shemper, vice-chair of Speak Up Hattiesburg. "So, we kind of wanted to fill the well, if you will, at this point in the short run and help those students, especially the seniors, who've worked so hard to be where they are."

On Saturday, April 2, Speak Up Hattiesburg will host an Arts Gala at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center, featuring Hattiesburg High School Alumni.

For more information about the organization, click here.