By Melanie Patterson
The North Jefferson News
The members of four communities are working together as if they are one.
Citizens representing Morris, Kimberly, Warrior and Trafford are all working with the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) in an effort to make their children and adults more healthy.
Each year the JCDH chooses a community to host a program called 5 A Day.
The purpose of 5 A Day is to encourage people to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
“Our lifestyles are not real good,” said Barbi Moore, nutrition educator for the JCDH. “We have so many health problems related to poor nutrition and lack of activity.”
Moore also cited childhood obesity and diabetes as growing problems in our country.
This year, the JCDH is focusing on northern Jefferson County for its 5 A Day program.
The event will be held at Morris Park on Sept. 29, with related activities also planned at Bryan and Warrior elementary schools.
On Tuesday, about 18 people from Warrior, Kimberly and Morris met at Morris City Hall in order to hash out an initial plan for the event.
Moore said she had been in contact with officials at Trafford and was expecting them to get involved as well.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the group divided into committees and got ready to roll up their sleeves.
The Rev. George Hollis, the new pastor at Morris United Methodist Church and Friendship UMC in Gardendale, was the first to volunteer.
Hollis will head up the site committee, which will be responsible for providing tables and chairs for the event, among other duties.
Warrior Elementary School principal Mike Frugoli agreed to help Hollis.
Volunteering to head up the activity committee and public relations committee were Bryan Elementary School physical education teacher Rebecca Recke, Bryan PTA president Staci Merrifield and Warrior Elementary physical education teacher Teresa Delaney.
Morris city clerk Rachael Turner and Morris magistrate Jessica Robb will also help with public relations.
Natalie Clements, who heads up the Jefferson County WIC Nutrition program in Morris, volunteered for the food committee, along with Kimberly town clerk Sandy Waid and Kimberly council members Diane Dake and Betty Jo Goodwin.
The Warrior Lions Club, represented by J.D. McAlpine, agreed to handle hospitality and registration.
Morris Police Chief Brian Cochran said he would organize the setup and cleanup committee.
Cochran also said he would create a police and fire committee to get members of those organizations involved from all of the communities.
Others at the meeting who will help were Warrior Mayor Rena Hudson, Dr. Tracy Parks of the Morris Health Clinic, Faye Pugh of the Warrior Public library and pharmacist Boyd Ennis of Payless Drugs.
Organizers are looking for businesses to set up booths, hand out information, sponsor door prizes, provide healthy food or beverages, or sponsor an activity for children or adults.
For more information, call Turner at Morris City Hall at 647-0596.
By Melanie Patterson