In 1955, Nita Butler asked, “What can I, one person do”? Nita, a young mother of two boys, had a Cerebral Palsied brother who had maxed out on services available to him and others like him by the fifth grade. Concerned and determined, Nita contacted the United Cerebral Palsy office in Jackson to see how she could address the shortage of services, thus beginning the process of establishing a Cerebral Palsy Center in Tupelo. A grassroots organization developed, comprised of parents, families, physicians, politicians and business leaders. It wasn’t long before John A. “Red” Rasberry, became involved because he, like Nita, had a Cerebral Palsied brother.
Soon, the founders realized that the need was greater than Cerebral Palsy. Affiliating with United Cerebral Palsy organization was too limiting for the scope of work they hoped to achieve in the community. It was then that the organizers determined the agency should be the Regional Rehabilitation Center and could thus serve all ages and all disabilities.