Healthy ambition

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Community hosts inaugural wellness event

By Alice Du Pont

During one of their regular meetings to improve the community, people who live in Quincy’s District 4 decided attention to health problems must become a priority. Saturday, June 22, members of the community held their first health fair.

The event, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., drew about 150 men, women and children. It was sponsored by Shaw’s Addition Crime Watch and Community Action Committee.

“We were trying to bring about a change in our community and facing and addressing our health issues was a major step. There is no community if the community is not healthy. Some of the major issues we addressed included hypertension, diabetes, body mass index, healthy eating habits and infant care,” said the Rev. Alphonso Figgers, captain of the crime watch committee.

He said community organizations partnered with the committee to bring information and materials to the citizens. Sgt. Eugene Monroe of the Quincy Police Department helped organize the event intended to bring to community out for socializing and education.

Support came from the Department of Health, Bond Center Mobile Health Unit, Mother Care Network, Farm Share, Quincy Police Department and Quincy City Commissioners. Volunteers came from the ranks of the Tau Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Gadsden County Chapter of National Hook-Up of Black Women and Florida A&M University’s undergraduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Farm Share, Figgers said, came to the rescue by donating 15 boxes of fresh squash, 15 cases of healthy drinks, 10 cases of fresh bananas, 40 cases of water and 20 cases of light yogurt for distribution.

“These are the kinds of food that are healthy for you and that people need to put more of in their diets. All of these are especially good for senior citizens. Whatever we can do to make our community better, we will attempt to do so,” Figgers said.

Later in the day, at 4 p.m., a banquet honoring the elderly citizens was held. Anyone over 60 years old was invited to the banquet. Each shared memories of growing up in the area and reminiscing about what it was like to live in the Addition, which was then known as “Shaw Quarters.”

Tshonda Whaley, coordinator of the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office Keeping Independent Seniors Safe program was the banquet speaker. She talked about the benefits of the program and ways to become involved. Whaley was accompanied by Zsa Zsa Fitzpatrick from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs who talked to seniors about state benefits available to them.