‘O’ Foundation to host 5K in Bogue Chitto: Race part of grassroots effort to battle obesity

Published 10:27 am Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The people of Bogue Chitto should get ready to run. On Saturday, The “O” Foundation will host a Race to Fitness Bogue Chitto Bobcat Run to help fight the nation’s obesity epidemic.

There are more than 72 million obese adults in the United States, according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In Mississippi, over 30 percent of adults are obese. Rose Powell and The “O” Foundation are trying to fight obesity in the community by getting people active again.

Powell said she started the foundation in 2005, but they weren’t immediately focused on obesity.

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“We’ve done all kinds of stuff throughout the years, but in 2013, we started focusing on one thing, and that’s obesity,” Powell said. “It gave us something that we could focus on, because nobody was doing anything about obesity in the community, and we’ve got plenty of groups around here working on all kinds of issues. We thought we would focus on one thing.”

Powell said 5Ks were a great way to get people active because they had to keep running to stay in shape for the event.

“It’s free,” Powell said. “You don’t have to pay nothing to be in the walk. Most [runs] are for raising money,, but we don’t do our walks to raise money. We try to give away stuff that encourages people to get up and get outside. Like the children’s dental clinic for instance, they gave us a couple bicycles, and we raffled them off. We give away scooters, skateboards, hula-hoops — we give away a bunch of those — jump ropes and basketballs.”

The Bogue Chitto Bobcat Run will be Saturday at 10 a.m. Lincoln County Chief Deputy Johnny Hall, who is marking the route for the event, said participants should meet at Bogue Chitto Attendance Center at 385 W. Monticello St.

People wanting to volunteer or contribute to The “O” Foundation should call project manager Eliza Corley at 601-320-0196. The run will have prizes for first, second, and third place winners, along with prizes for children like hula-hoops and jump ropes.

The group’s focus is on all communities throughout Lincoln County.

Powell said the communities around Brignall and Brookhaven Apartments are in serious need of recreation equipment.

“The other day I saw kids over there in [Brookhaven Apartments]. They were outside playing, and they had one of those Sprite bottles, and they were throwing it back and forth over the hedges, playing volleyball. It just touched my heart — I said we’ve got to get some volley balls and soccer balls for the kids. They’ll take anything and make something to play with out of it.”

Instead of raising money at its 5K events, Powell said The “O” Foundation hosts a dinner honoring community leaders. On Dec. 10, The “O” Foundation will honor Josie Hightower and J.W. Morgan.

“This year we’re going to have a great supper with a salad bar, because we focus on obesity,” Powell said, “It starts at 6, doors are open at 5:30.”