New Fire Pit Brings Warmth to Celebration
At last weekend’s 15th anniversary Journey for Life celebration, one of the “stars” of the event was the huge new adobe fire pit that was built to warm gatherings of peers and staff on colder fall and winter mornings. On Saturday morning, it warmed the late October morning air and wafted the scent of wood smoke over assembled guests at the outdoor recognition ceremony.
Another creative handiwork of project director Jeff Williams, the fire pit utilized a Native American design concept to incorporate additional world culture elements into the campus environment. The design reflects Jeff’s recurring theme of the prevalence of mental illness throughout the entire world.
Journey for Life Celebration a Success
Thanks to all of you who joined us for a spectacular 15th anniversary celebration of the Journey for Life. A successful 5K race/fun run was followed by an inspiring recognition ceremony, featuring comments by some noteworthy citizens, including Habitat for Humanity and Fuller Center for Housing co-founder Linda Fuller Degelmann, Americus City Council member Carla Gammage Cook, and original Journey for Life participant, Charlene Hayes, who is also the wife of Rudy Hayes, author of Journey for Life, which commemorates the original walk for mental health awareness.
The beautiful fall day provided the perfect backdrop for the event, and a newly constructed firepit provided warmth and atmosphere. During the moving community ceremony, the lighting of candles and moment of silence signified a time of remembrance for those who had lost their lives while battling depression.
Stuart Perry described his personal odyssey and gave thanks to friends, family members, and colleagues -- many of whom were in attendance -- for their ongoing support. He gave particular thanks to his wife, Pam, who has stood by his side since they first began dating as teenagers. As you can see from the photo above, they are still going strong!
To see more photos of the race and recognition ceremony, you can check out our Facebook page under "Perry Wellness Center."
A Day of Celebration
As you know by now, Perry Wellness Center is hosting a 15th anniversary 5K face and fun run this coming Saturday, October 25 at 9:00 a.m. (Check-in and registration are at 8:00 a.m.) But you may not have heard about our recognition ceremony after the run.
At 10:30 a.m., we'll meet back at Perry Wellness Center, 302 East Furlow Street, Americus, diagnally across from historic Rees Park. Our Journey for Life Recognition Ceremony will feature invited guests for whom we are offering special recognition for all their efforts on behalf of the center and mental health advocacy. The general public is invited to attend the ceremony.
Many of you joined us 15 years ago as we walked to the city limits of Americus on the first leg of Stuart Perry's 1000-mile walk to Chicago on behalf of depression screening advocacy. Some of you walked the last mile to the American Medical Association conference in Chicago. Others supported the public awareness campaign with donations, prayers, or words of support. Community support made the difference then -- and it can continue to make all the difference now, as we look forward to the next 15 years and beyond of supporting mental health and substance abuse recovery in Southwest Georgia.
Whether you walk, run, or stand up for PWC, we hope you will join us this Saturday!
Pop Top Donations: A Progress Report
It’s time for an update on the story of peer Kaylon Holt’s efforts to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus, Georgia. We’ve told you about his collecting of aluminum can pop tops that can be redeemed for donations. Kaylon first began gathering these tabs to help a friend whose father had cancer. After the gentleman passed away, Kaylon wanted to put 900 pop tops to use. After getting ideas from staff member Jeff Williams, Kaylon decided on the Ronald McDonald House, where families of children with cancer can stay while their loved ones are receiving treatment.
It Takes a Community
Keeping the large campus of Perry Wellness Center attractive and safe is a full-time job, and community input is a vital part of the process. Recently these facts were illustrated when a customer at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market expressed a potential safety concern to us. He had noted several overgrown crepe myrtle trees near the eastern market entrance. They could possibly interfere with sightlines for motorists or pedestrians.
The trees were actually growing on the property line of the adjacent property, so permission was sought and granted to cut overhanging limbs. Two peers, Kenneth Christmas and Grover Thornton, immediately accepted the task of removing problem limbs on two of the mature trees.
Our thanks for all the customer support at Happy Patch Market. Whether interacting with peers, supporting our work through the purchase of fresh produce, or being alert to everyone’s safety, our wonderful customers always come through. As do our dedicated peers – thanks Grover (left in photo) and Kenneth!