A Challenge to End Hunger

Feeding the Gulf Coast, formerly known as Bay Area Food Bank, will be hosting their first Mississippi Chef Challenge on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at the Biloxi Civic Center in Biloxi, MS from 6-9 p.m.

About a year ago, the organization changed its name to better suit its growth of helping to end hunger across 24 counties along the Gulf Coast. 

Their website explains that the event is held during September to raise awareness for Hunger Action Month- a nationwide hunger-relief campaign set forth by their corporate affiliate, Feeding America. 

The chef challenge will feature 11 chefs from local casinos and restaurants to prepare a dish in one of the four categories: appetizer, entree, soup and dessert. The guests will sample the dishes and vote on their favorite chef in each category along with an overall “People’s Choice” category. In addition, they will also have qualified judges select a “Judge’s Choice” winner. Complimentary beer and wine will be served, so guests must be 21 & over. 

There will also be a silent auction, live entertainment, a photo booth and lots more. 

“We are really embracing the opportunity for community engagement and organization awareness. We want to be able to share our mission, tell guests who we are and the work we do within the extended counties”, says Haley Buchanan of Feeding the Gulf Coast. 

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $75 per person. 

“This event will allow us to continue efforts with our programs such as Backpack Program and our partner food pantries-ultimately leading to bring in more food to the people on the Gulf Coast”, says Buchanan. 

For more information on Feeding the Gulf Coast and The Chef Challenge visit, feedingthegulfcoast.org.

 

 

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Fall Dance Festival 2017

The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center is presenting the 2nd annual Fall Dance Festival on September 30, 2017 in Ocean Springs, MS!
 
FDF2017 is a day of master classes, networking opportunities and performances that celebrate southern modern dance choreographers and educate the MS Gulf Coast about the art of modern dance.
 
Modern Dance emerged as a rebellion to classical ballet in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Early pioneers of the dance technique stopped wearing corsets and pointe shoes in order to achieve more freedom of movement and expression in their bodies. A new, innovative technique began to form based on both natural and abstract movements of the human body. Modern dance continued to evolve into postmodern dance and finally into what is known as contemporary dance today. With every new generation of dance artists, unique styles and techniques evolved such as free dance, performance art, contact improvisation, release technique, improvisation, dance theater, authentic movement, Gaga, dance on film and many more.
 
Last year’s Fall Dance Festival 2016 was a great success! We had three dance companies from New Orleans, LA (Tsunami Dance, KM Dance Project and Known Mass) teach master classes and perform their original dance pieces. We also presented Leif Anderson and Summer Baldwin’s first duet together, 40 Years Between Us. FDF2016 also included an Informal Choreography Showcase which featured the work of emerging, southern dance artists such as Vaughn Dance, Selah Arts Collaborative, Delarence Collins Dance, Sarah Pitts and Catalina Reyna.
 
Fall Dance Festival 2017 is going to be even bigger than last year! Kelly Ferris Lester, University of Southern Mississippi Associate Professor of Dance, will be teaching a somatic-based dance class and presenting two original dance pieces. One of her pieces, People Issues, incorporates dance, spoken word and interactive props, as a way of investigating societal norms of body image, gender, race and major events in America
 
Sharon Leahy, National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellow, will be teaching a Dance on Film master class and presenting her most recent dance film, Ground Fine. FDF2017 is excited to support the work of Ocean Springs’ very own, Leif Anderson. Leif will be performing an improvised dance piece in the evening showcase and sharing her dance figure drawings in the lobby of The Mary C. during the festival.
 
Other classes include Creative Movement for Kids with local teacher/performing artist, Summer Baldwin, and Modern Dance Technique with Hattiesburg dance artist, Katie Erin Ginn. The festival also provides a platform for emerging artists to meet and learn from established dance artists with a free networking event (Share Dance Meetup) hosted by the Mississippi Dance Leader Alliance. The Share Dance Meetup includes a panel discussion with professional artists from multiple genres of dance including modern dance, dance on film, ballet and dance team.
 
The festival concludes with a Young Artists Showcase for dance artists 17 and under to share their own choreography and a Dance Film + Formal Choreography Showcase which features the work of both emerging and established dance artists in the south.
 
Come celebrate the art of modern dance either by taking a class, seeing a performance or both!  
Buy your tickets today at www.themaryc.org/tickets
 
Sponsored by: Carter & Jordan Law, Robert & Judie Baldwin and Ron Hall
Presented by: The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center 
Founded/Created by: Summer Baldwin
 
 
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Moss Point Church Aims to Create Healthier Community

It’s no surprise that the people of Mississippi face issues with obesity and their health. In fact, Mississippi has the second highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America released August 2017.

But one church in Moss Point is hoping to change that and get the people of Jackson County to make better choices for their health and spirituality. 

Ebenezer Seventh-day Adventist Church has created a 13 week program, in coordination with Health Ministries, to hold a series of seminars focused on a variety of topics to help the people of Jackson County achieve their best physical and mental state. 

The program started on Sunday, September 17 and is available to the community free of charge.

“We want to share with residents the importance of making healthy decisions. And by educating and giving out the correct information will lead to people thinking critically about the choices they make”, says Pastor David Jones. 

The church plans to feature classes for a variety of topics concerning health and being properly informed about it. The schedule for these classes are as follows:

Monday’s: Cooking classes at 5:30

Wednesday’s: Covering subjects, such as friendship and cancer

Friday’s: Discussing topics, such as obesity and healthy exercising

For Pastor Jones, working together will help the more than 100 people in the program spread the word of healthy living to the rest of the community.

“Here in Moss Point, we’re a family, a community, and we are here to help one another and to educate people where they can live longer,” Jones said.

For more information on how to attend programs at the church, you can call 228-460-5355 or visit their website at ebenezer36.adventistchurchconnect.org.

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MGCCC Jackson County Campus Hosts Health Fair and 5K Run

FINAL-JC-Health-Fair-9-20-17-1024x444 MGCCC Jackson County Campus Hosts Health Fair and 5K Run

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Jackson County Campus will host a health fair on September 20, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the campus gymnasium.  Those who visit all stations at the fair will receive a prize.

During the fair, information will be available on behavioral health, neurology, addiction, family planning and unplanned pregnancy prevention, smoking cessation, Zika virus, cancer, dental, weight loss, and the Mercy Housing and Human Development organization.  Tests will be available for fitness, BMI and body fat percentages, blood pressure, and sexually transmitted infection. STI/STD counseling will also be available. 

As September is Unplanned Pregnancy Awareness Month at MGCCC, Medical Analysis will be providing important facts and statistics as well as other information on unplanned pregnancy. 

“Studies show that more than 60 percent of community college students who become pregnant after enrolling in college do not finish their degree,” said Karin Ford, clinical consultant with Medical Analysis. “Even students who already have children find college challenging, since they have to find suitable childcare and must deal with the financial complication of having a family and attending school.  Our encouragement for students is to ‘Create a better life before creating life.’” 

Medical Analysis will provide a variety of information on unplanned pregnancy, birth control options and sexually transmitted infections.

Following the fair, there will be a weight-room orientation at 2 p.m. upstairs in the gym and the annual De-Stress to Success 5K Run, which will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Main Campus Drive.  Certificates will be given for first through fifth places.

For more information on the health fair or the 5K run, contact Ray Bigelow, coordinator of Wellness and Recreation, 228.497.7735 or ray.bigelow@mgccc.edu.

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What You Need to Know for the Gulf Coast Blues and Heritage Festival

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues and Heritage Festival is back to celebrate 26 years of blues, good food and a great time this weekend.  

The festival will be held on Saturday, September 9 from 12-10 pm at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Pascagoula. The price for tickets are $15 advance and $20 the day of the show. 

The festival features a lively array of southern soul, blues, zydeco, and gospel acts. It originally started in Biloxi, but has outgrown itself and its festival goers to a new location and a new audience. Phyllis Owens, President of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues Commission, says the festival has expanded its interest to host younger blues entertainers, as well as younger festival attendees. 

“It seems the crowd is getting younger each year. And that’s what we hope to do-continue the legacy of blues by including young ambassadors of the blues to become more involved”, says Owens.

Over 1,200 visitors are expected to attend this year, with some traveling all the way to the Gulf Coast from cities such as Chicago and Memphis to be a part of the longest running blues festivals in the Deep South. 

The featured artists this year include: André Lee, legendary Carl Sims, Columbus Toy, Yazoo Bayou Band, Donna Renae, Ms. Charli “Creole Diva” and many more. 

“The festival brings people and families together through their love and passion for the blues and is an important social event for many local organizations”, says Owens. “We hope this will serve as a signature event for the city of Pascagoula in hopes to increase interest in music amongst younger audiences in Jackson County,” said Owens. 

If you would like to find out more information about the festival, visit msgulfcoastbluesfest.com

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First Round of Flood Buckets, Beaumont Bound

21273330_726413284215875_4157953929642481845_o-300x225 First Round of Flood Buckets, Beaumont BoundIt’s an understatement to say Jackson County is full of cheerful givers. Since last week’s conception of the “#floodbucketchallenge” an outpouring of generosity from businesses and individuals has created a viral movement on Facebook. The first round of flood buckets will be loaded at Ocean Springs Lumber today starting at 5:00 pm. We are loading a trailer and will head for Beaumont early tomorrow morning.

UPDATE:   OVER 200 buckets are expected to be on the trailer filled with cleaning supplies, personal notes, and lots of prayer. Jackson County is no stranger to what the people of Texas are going through. “These flood buckets are filled with basic items that people will need as they clean out their homes. It’s our way of paying it forward and paying it back for those who helped us,”  says Beverly Dees of Ad-In Advertising.

Thank you to EVERYONE who participated!  ESPECIALLY our drop-off locations and sponsors: 

  • Heritage Funeral Home (http:www.heritagefuneralhome.com  https://www.facebook.com/HeritageFuneralHomeMossPoint/)
  • First United Methodist Church of Pascagoula  http://fumcpascagoula.org/  https://www.facebook.com/fumcpascagoula/
  • Ocean Springs Lumber and Supply Co. http://www.oslumber.com  https://www.facebook.com/OceanSpringsLumberSupplyCo/

 

After this first shipment of buckets, the #floodbucketchallenge will continue, however relief efforts shifting to larger boots on the ground organizations. Flood Buckets are still being collected at FUMC Pascagoula, where they will be handed off to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Similar relief efforts are happening locally which you can stay up to date by following the JaxCoHome Facebook page. This relief effort has truly shown the heart of Jackson County. The effort spearheaded by JaxCoHome.com can not thank Jackson County and everyone who has donated enough. This movement is a success and has been felt all the way in Texas. JaxCoHome.com would like to thank Ocean Springs Lumber, FUMC Pascagoula, and Heritage Funeral Homes for serving as drop off locations, and their personal donations to this relief effort. The Beaumont Chamber of Commerce will be receiving the truck and handling the distribution of the buckets on site.

On the heels of Harvey, we all sit with eyes on Irma. We encourage every resident to be prepared and stock up on items needed in case Jackson County is affected. 

You can find hurricane information and supply lists at the MEMA Preparation page: http://www.msema.org/be-prepared/hurricanes

Other ways you can help relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey:

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Ocean Springs Receives $30,000 ‘Meet Me at the Park’ Grant

Ocean Springs has been selected to receive a $30,000 play space grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Walt Disney Company. This investment supports NRPA and Disney’s combined goal of providing one million kids and families with greater access to play.

Twenty-five park and recreation agencies and cities nationwide were selected to receive grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 to support projects that increase access to play spaces in local parks for children and families.

The projects selected include a variety of innovative play space enhancements, sport field/court enhancements, trail and walking path enhancements, and mobile play spaces, which include flexible play equipment and activities that can be moved and put to use in different locations. All of the projects focus on inclusive play spaces that increase physical activity and play for children and families.

The city of Ocean Springs is partnering with Disability Connection on this project and will use the $30,000 grant to provide four fully accessible play structures in the Little Children’s Park. These structures provide opportunities for physical and sensory activity to children and adults of all physical abilities. 

“NRPA is proud to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company to help more children and families experience the benefits of play,” said Kellie May, NRPA director of health and wellness. “By increasing access to play spaces, this program will also provide new activities that support healthy lifestyles in local communities.” 

The Meet Me at the Park program includes an Earth Month campaign as well, where funding is awarded for local park improvement projects that connect kids to nature, inspire healthy living and provide access to sports. The campaign celebrates Earth Month and the importance of local parks. 

To learn more about Meet Me at the Park, visit www.nrpa.org/disney

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Volunteers Walk to Fight Heart Disease

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Nearly 50 volunteers from Chevron spent a Saturday morning raising money and awareness for heart disease at the 2017 Jackson County Heart Walk on March 18.

One member of the Chevron team has even had heart disease affect him personally.

“In 2007, I lost my mother to heart disease,” said Maintenance Team Leader Chris Cochran. “My father has heart disease, and I was diagnosed with heart disease in 2013. From that time, it has become important to eat right and exercise.”

Roughly one in every four deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease, so money raised from events like the heart walk goes toward saving thousands of lives every year.

“The Heart Walk is important to me to show even if you have heart disease, you can be very active,” Cochran said.

With 45 participants, the Chevron team raised $2,500 at the Heart Walk.

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Chevron Volunteers Support Relay for Life

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More than 20 Chevron employees, friends, and family gathered at the St. Martin High School Stadium on April 28 to participate in Relay for Life. This year, the Chevron Team raised $4,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Thank you to Chevron Relay for Life event team leaders Elizabeth Swinney and Sondra Hilton-Boney, along with everyone who supported this important cause. Nearly $16,000 was raised by the entire event.

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Singing River Health System Creates Healthy Program Guide for Jackson County

It’s no surprise that Mississippi is known for its high rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. In fact, Mississippi ranks 2nd for the highest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America
 
Singing River Health System seized an opportunity to aid in improving the health of their patients and the members of Jackson County. Therefore, Singing River created a new program, Healthy Selection, which is aimed to encourage the citizens of Jackson County to choose the healthier option when dining out.
 
The purpose of the program is to feature a healthy meal choice from each of your favorite restaurants along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Each featured dish will be certified as a ‘Healthy Selection’ by Singing River Health System to meet the following criteria:
  • 550 calories or less
  • 20 grams of fat or less
  • 600 milligrams of sodium or less 

These guidelines follow the American Heart Association and US Dietary Guidelines standards for a flexible, yet healthy meal. 

“Our goal for this program is for anyone to walk into any of the many restaurants Jackson County has to offer and have a healthy option at their fingertips; something that is handpicked by Singing River Health System specifically for its nutritional value”, says Singing River’s Marketing Associate, Lauren McDavid.

The program is currently in the midst of launching and seeking restaurant partners in Jackson County to feature their signature ‘Healthy Selection’ meal.

There is no cost in becoming a partner. Each restaurant will not only have a Healthy Selection ‘plaque’ or signage of some sort to display the healthy selection(s) they offer, but will also be featured in the Singing River Healthy Selection Guide that will be distributed to all patients, employees, and throughout all of Jackson County. All of the ‘Healthy Selection’ partners will also be included in Singing River’s Healthy Selection social media posts and on their website: singingriverhealthsystem.com.

Singing River Health System hopes that this program will educate restaurant owners within the county and make healthy changes to their menu to improve the nutritional value of their meals.

“We believe a major change starts with small changes first, and we want to help change the health of our citizens for the better”, states McDavid. 

To become a Healthy Selection Partner Restaurant, contact Lauren McDavid, Marketing Assistant, at (228)-239-2315 or Lauren.McDavid@mysrhs.com.

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