08/22/04 — Mount Olive commissioner to survey interest for health center

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Mount Olive commissioner to survey interest for health center

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on August 22, 2004 2:05 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Town Commissioner Ora Truzy wants anyone interested in learning more about health and wellness to call her.

She is planning to survey Mount Olive residents about what they're interested in learning more about in the area of overall wellness. She and five other people in Mount Olive, including representatives of two government agencies, want to provide a program in one of the rooms at the Henrietta Williams Multipurpose Center in the old Carver School on Breazeale Avenue.

She would not name the two agencies, because "we want to pull as many to the table as we can and form a partnership."

Ms. Truzy oversees the activities in the building for the town of Mount Olive. The center's room where the Rev. Louis Lee worked with children has become vacant.

Rev. Lee said Thursday that the door closed this summer after town officials told her the Boys & Girls Club being built next door would be able to provide the same service she did, but with more resources.

"I want what's best for the children," she said. "I know nothing remains forever."

Mrs. Truzy said she and Town Manager Ray McDonald had been talking about what could be done for the adults, since the other programs in the building are geared for teens and younger children.

She had worked with the Wayne County Health Department years ago on a project, and she said she wanted to do something of more of an on-going nature.

She said she feels the health and wellness program will be an asset to southern Wayne. "Henrietta Williams was a great promoter of assisting the needs of the community," she said.

The building was named after Ms. Williams in April of 2003.

Ms. Williams spent most of her life doing mission work, feeding the hungry, clothing people, visiting and caring for the sick and shut-ins, counseling people and tutoring children and encouraging them to stay in school.

She started several clubs, established a kindergarten for black children and helped organize a Head Start-style program. She also started a school-lunch program.

The Henrietta Williams Wing houses programs similar in spirit to what Mrs. Williams accomplished, including a food bank, a 4-H program, food service for the participating children, and help with homework and tutoring.

Ms. Truzy's vision is to create a forum for people to discuss subjects like parenting skills, suicide prevention, diabetes, high blood pressure. People would come to the Henrietta Williams Multipurpose Center and hear lectures on things like weight loss or how to prevent things like drug abuse, domestic violence, teen pregnancy.

"In Wayne County we have a rising rate of teen pregnancy," said Ms. Truzy. "We're finding out we need a support system in the community to help fix broken families."

Two rooms are being renovated for a workforce training program for culinary arts and carpet laying.

"Everybody's not going to go to college, but you have different trades to make a living," she said. "I've found out by renovating this house that a small-job handyman can make some money. You've got a lot of widows, single parents, men who work and don't have time to do these things."

That's why it's important to survey the citizens and find out their interests and needs, she said. Ms. Truzy can be reached at 658-6694.