Island Festivities Highlight Campus Celebration
Earlier this week we told you about the trip several of our staff and peers made to St. Simons Island, Georgia. There, they attended the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network annual conference, where health and fitness workshops were provided by PWC founder Stuart Perry.
As most of the peers and staff could not head to the coast, however, we decided to bring the coast to Perry Wellness Center. And not just any coast – but the balmy shores of Hawaii, as we held a special Aloha Day on campus.
Food for the day was authentic island traditional, the bright décor reflected our island state’s cheery colors, and the activities were suitably festive. A tropical karaoke event was a highlight of the days’ activities.
At the close of the day, Amanda Perry shared, “Our planning seemed to work. We wanted to let the peers who did not travel to St. Simons realize that we could have our own celebration.”
One of the more popular activities was “Pin the Pea on Stuart.” Stuart Perry’s enthusiasm about pea shelling and sales at the market has been so vocal that he has been informally given the unlikely nickname of “Pea Man.” A poster featuring Stuart’s smiling face invited participants to mount a pea cutout on a Velcro strip.
In the above photo, peers Paul and Awan Pin the Pea on Stuart during a uniquely festive day on campus.
16 PWC Staff & Peers Attend GMHCN Conference
For this week’s annual Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network Conference, Stuart Perry accompanied 12 peers and 4 staff members to St. Simons, Georgia. The 23rd annual conference will feature two keynote speakers, including the Commissioner of the Georgia Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. A total of 24 workshops will also be held during the two-day event Stuart will lead two sessions today on physical health and wellness. Also scheduled are a consumer art show, adult behavioral health service updates, karaoke and dancing. The conference brochure promises a time to “laugh, learn, and play with peers,” and the wide range of activities should promote these outcomes.
Attending this year’s conference from Perry Wellness Center are staff members Stuart Perry, Noah Cochran, Phyllis Smith, and Jackie Teasley, along with peers Shanesha Edge, Shanora Robinson, Chambliss Wiggins, James Baron, Kaylon Holt, Tim Davenport, Rhonda Hubbard, Dorothy Seay, Essie Fulks, Tameka Brown, Michelle Maness, and Penny Davis.
In the photo, PWC staff and peers load two Rick Davis rental vans for the morning trip to St. Simons Island.
Thomasville Couple Visits PWC Regularly
Perry Wellness Center is proud of its loyal customer base of local residents, but we also appreciate visits from “out-of-towners.” One such couple now makes regular stops at Happy Patch Market when they drive through Americus to see their children.
Gene and Marice Richardson live in Thomasville, Georgia, but they pass through our area quite frequently and always stop by. As Mrs. Richardson explains, “We have made it a point to visit Happy Patch Market. We have bought hanging baskets and many vegetables as we travel here. Our plants are doing well and our farm-fresh vegetables are wonderful!”
The Richardsons also enjoy sharing their fresh produce with a 93-year-old neighbor. “We are proud to share Rudy’s Happy Patch Market and Perry Wellness Center with our friends and with others who might be visiting Americus,” Marice Richardson notes. “You all are doing a great job here at Perry Wellness Center, and we want to support your work.”
In the above photo, Marice and Gene Richmond enjoy selecting fresh tomatoes from the Perry Wellness Center gardens.
Helping Hand Fountain New Home to Giant Koi
Jeff Williams, certified peer specialist and project designer at Perry Wellness Center, recently completed his latest work of art for the campus-- a re-circulation fountain and pond site that features the depiction of an outstretched hand. The Helping Hand fountain has become a popular spot for moments of quiet reflection.
“Jeff has a very unique talent for taking any donation or ‘found object’ and creating a work of art,” Stuart Perry explains. “His fountains are restful and spectacular for our family and visitors to our center.”
Helping Hand fountain now has a new feature – but it is a work of nature. A seven-pound koi fish now swims colorfully through the pond that flows from the fountain, joining smaller koi who already inhabit the pool. The unusually large koi was donated by retired businessman Bobby Jones and his wife Loxi. The Joneses are long-time supporters of community programs in the Marion County area. They recently notified Stuart of their desire to donate the fish, as it required more space than they could provide.
Felix, as he was named by Jeff, arrived at his new home this week and was carefully placed in his new environment. “I am not a fish, but understand the potential stress that this fish might feel,” Jeff said with a smile. “He seemed happy and quickly swam away to join his new friends!”
In the photo above, Jeff Williams checks on his friend Felix as he attends to maintenance of the Helping Hand fountain.
Fresh Shelled Peas Dominate Market Demand
At Happy Patch Market these days, our #1 request is for shelled peas. As customers lead busy lives, they like to have the simplicity of already shelled peas. Bags of shelled peas are often purchased for current use, but also for freezing or even canning.
Over 95% of our peas are machine shelled. Peers assist in the process, aligning peas in stainless or barrel shellers when production demand exceeds the capabilities of small shellers. When bins are filled, peas are placed on a grading table. There, any remaining shells or debris are removed. The peas are then ready for bagging in bushels (8#), half-bushels (4#), quarts and pints. (Customers are reminded to wash the peas and give them a final visual check before cooking.)
By the way, we have shelled peas now available in 8-lb. bags, with a starting price of $22. Butterbeans and green or speckled beans are available for $30 per 8-lb. bag.
In the photo above, Chris Wheller manages the newest, high-output barrel sheller at Happy Patch Market.