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Group names 2015 VIP winner

There are more than 72 million obese adults in the United States, according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In Mississippi, more than 30 percent of adults are obese.

As part of its mission to fight obesity in Lincoln County, The “O” Foundation will host its annual fundraiser at the Lincoln Civic Center on Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door and will cost $20. Retired alderman and DJ J.W. Morgan will be the guest of honor at the event.

“This is the O Foundation’s 10th year anniversary, and it’s also the 10th year anniversary of his street, JW Morgan Way,” O Foundation founder Rose Powell said. “They named it after him back in 2005 the same night that they OK’d changing the name [of Hamilton Street] to Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Drive.”

J.W. and Goldie Morgan

J.W. and Goldie Morgan

Powell said changing the name of Hamilton Street was one of the first things she’d done after moving back to Brookhaven.

“I hadn’t even started the group yet,” Powell said. “That was my first thing. The reason I did, it wasn’t so much focused on Dr. King. I hadn’t been long moved here, and I had this inspiration to help my community, and Mr. Steve Morgan encouraged me. He said, ‘Polly, why don’t you help me get the community and the streets all cleaned up’. Changing the name to Dr. Martin Luther King was more about that than anything else.”

Powell founded the O Foundation that year, in 2005, and had a number of projects in the community, but the focus has been on obesity since 2013.

“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.”

The O Foundation hosts several 5K events throughout the year. Powell said 5Ks are a great tool to get people active because they have to keep walking to stay in shape for the event. Unlike other events that host 5Ks to raise money, Powell said The O Foundation hosts the walks purely to stay in shape, so the dinner on Dec. 10 is its only fundraiser.

“It’s going to be an evening celebrating Mr. Morgan and the O Foundation,” Powell said. “We’re going to have singing, fellowship and lots of food. We do a souvenir book, too, where people can buy ads and write letters and put notes in there to him, and we pass that out to all our guests that come in.”

Powell said people wanting to purchase notes or ads for the souvenir book should contact them by Nov. 30. People wanting to volunteer or contribute to The O Foundation should call project manager Eliza Corley at 601-320-0196.

J.W. Morgan was a gospel radio DJ years ago, and Powell said there will be plenty of singing at the dinner. Rev. A.C. Herring with Holy Trinity Family Church will be in charge of music, and anyone who wants to perform should call him at 601-754-6686.