HHCC board is considering plans for 15th-anniversary celebration
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
Healthy Henry County Communities (HHCC) is trying to figure out the best possible way to celebrate its 15-year anniversary taking place this year.
During the regular board meeting on Tuesday, June 2, board members discussed the many possibilities of what could be done to engage the community and to share what has happened over the years with HHCC.
“We want to have a celebration and to get people out there,” said HHCC coordinator Kelly Carr. “We talked at our last meeting about having it during our Healthy Halloween Walk. We want to get a different age group out there, population and we need something to highlight the anniversary.”
According to Carr, the board discussed at the last meeting about doing a special newspaper section, doing something on the radio, possibly tying a 5K race into the Healthy Halloween Walk or doing some sort of road races. All to show what HHCC is doing and has done over the past 15 years.
Board member Julie Brown, who works with Steffes Group in Mt. Pleasant, discussed the idea of having a scavenger hunt or doing the 5K race.
“We could hold a scavenger hunt and people could get a punch card at each stop and learn the history,” said Brown. “Color runs are big right now too and with the way East Lake Park is set up, we could do smaller runs to get more people out there. If there was a shorter option, we could get people who haven’t competed before and parents who have strollers.”
Travis Johnson, community health director at Henry County Health Center and board member of HHCC, said, “I feel that with whatever we do, we need to highlight that HHCC is still here. People are comfortable now and know that it’s here. We need to get people to see what we are doing and to raise awareness. We have done a lot of activities and there are a lot of programs in Henry County that HHCC started, but no one really knows that.
“What can we do as a group that no one else can? I think that’s what we need to focus on. We have a unique make up of a group and we have a lot of resources we could utilize. I haven’t figured out for the life of me what we can do, but it should be different,” said Johnson.
Carr stated that no matter what is done, the focus should be to raise awareness of what has been accomplished by HHCC and encouraged the activities committee to discuss this matter and see what can be done.
High school representative Elissa Monteiro suggested reinstituting corporate games, saying that the point of HHCC is to bring together and this would be the way to do it.
Johnson agreed and explained that Mt. Pleasant used to have corporate games where places like Walmart Distribution, the hospital etc., formed teams and competed in a “mini-Olympics.”
“The teams would compete in things like softball, sand volleyball, ping pong, pool, kayaking, tug-of-war, etc., and it lasted two days. We could get businesses in town to create teams and we could hold them at East Lake Park during the Healthy Halloween Walk,” said Johnson. “Then people could look at the other stuff that would be going on at the same time. We don’t have to do a lot, we could pick what games and it doesn’t have to be competitive either, we could change the rules and make it fun.”
Other ideas that were thrown out during the meeting were a kickball tournament, ways to get local restaurants involved and suggesting a theme for the anniversary.
“We need to think of something that is fun to get people out there,” said Henry County Center Point of Coordination Sarah Berndt. “Kickball would definitely be different and fun, too.”
During the meeting, the board discussed once again how their goals were shifting from six goals down to two goals.
“They didn’t all fit together and some weren’t even touched on,” said Carr. “We looked at what we were actually doing now and figured out that some were going strong on their own so we didn’t need them anymore. They were self-sustaining. I think we should celebrate those as successes and focus on areas we are actively working, which is to promote healthy behaviors and to prevent child abuse.”
Healthy Henry County Communities will meet again in regular session on Tuesday, July 1, at 1 p.m. in the Health Education Center at Henry County Health Center.