Sporting Life Kennels: A Relationship Spanning Three Generations

August 20, 2020

Molly Roberts and her husband, Marty, owners of Sporting Life Kennels in Oxford, Mississippi, have a unique connection to Palmer Home for Children: Molly’s father, Dr. Hugh Francis, Jr., served on Palmer Home’s board of directors for more than 50 years, and Molly grew up attending Independent Presbyterian Church (IPC) in Memphis, Tennessee, which hosted “Camp Palmer” each summer for IPC and Palmer youth.

“I have pictures with friends I made at Palmer Home,” recalls Molly, “and I find it heartwarming to bring my children up making friends at Palmer Home.”

For the past 30 years, the Roberts have prided themselves on developing premier British Labrador retrievers at their 42-acre farm. Sporting Life Kennels (SLK) breeds, raises and trains puppies and dogs for people all over the world and hosts a television series The Sporting Life showcasing stories of SLK retrievers and their owners.

Five years ago, Marty was approached for an auction donation to support Palmer Home’s Shotguns & Sunflowers event, a “Garden & Gun” themed dinner party that raises vital funds and awareness for Palmer Home. The couple jumped at the opportunity to support an organization that played such a big role in Molly’s childhood.

“There are not many organizations for children in need that are Christian based and teach the value of a heavenly Father to those who have been separated from their earthly parents,” explains Molly.

Since then, the Roberts’ relationship with Palmer Home has continued to flourish. In addition to helping with fundraisers, they also contribute a monthly gift to the capital campaign to build the Dr. Hugh Francis, Jr., Wellness Center, named in honor of Molly’s father. When complete, the center will house all administrative, counseling and educational functions, a gymnasium and swimming pool for the campus residents, and a large multi-purpose room and industrial-sized kitchen to host large gatherings. The center will be constructed on Palmer Home’s Panther Creek Ranch residential campus outside of Hernando, Mississippi.

“My father was an amazing man who dedicated much of his time to the children at Palmer Home,” Molly says. “We care about Palmer Home for many reasons, but especially because he cared for Palmer Home. My daughter, who attended Mississippi State, even did an internship at the Columbus campus. We truly treasure our time spent in their company.”

Stories like Molly’s, where a relationship with Palmer Home has blossomed across generations, warm our hearts. We invite you to join the legacy of Palmer Home and help support our mission today.

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