Mound Bayou plans to kick butt
by Rory Doyle
Mar 21, 2013 | 1805 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mound Bayou is gearing up for the fifth-annual Anti-Tobacco Rally to help educate youth about its associated health risks and dangers.

The free event will be hosted on March 30 at the Mound Bayou Facility Building from 1-4 p.m.

Sgt. Kelvin Brown, coordinator of youth activities with the Mound Bayou Police Department, has been organizing the affair since its inception.

"In my 16 years working with the Mound Bayou Police, I've seen a number of upsetting youth cases related to smoking and tobacco," said Brown. "I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work with other agencies and help educate kids about a very important issue.

"So many people are impacted by lung cancer and other tobacco-related health problems. This event is about reducing the threat and preventing kids from smoking before it's too late."

The rally will feature fun educational opportunities targeting youth through a number of games, activities, lessons, prizes and speakers.

A special Easter egg hunt is also planned and DJ Bobby Jones of Cleveland will be in attendance.

Local towns are invited and Brown encouraged nearby residents of Winstonville and Shelby to attend.

The Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition and Bolivar/Sunflower County Tobacco-Free Coalition will also be on site.

"This is our time to encourage kids to kick the butts," said Beverly Johnson, coalition project director for Bolivar and Sunflower Counties. "It's an opportunity for participating youth to speak out and tell others they will not use tobacco or be influenced by those who use it."

The Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalitions are grassroots groups covering all 82 Mississippi counties and are funded by a grant from the Mississippi State Department of Health.

The organization's primary goal is to educate citizens — both young and old — on the dangers of tobacco use.

Brown said he's still seeking donations for the event and those wishing to contribute can contact him at 662-719-9181 or fax at 662-741-2200.

"We're asking local businesses and individuals to help donate hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, soda and snacks," said Brown. "Monetary donations to help purchase these items can also be made out to Mound Bayou City Hall with a note about the Anti-Tobacco Rally."

Check donations should be delivered to city hall by Wednesday. Receipts will also be given for cash contributions.

Those in attendance are encouraged to wear a green or light blue T-shirt.

"The kids really look forward to this," added Johnson. "We encourage everyone to come out, be involved and take part in this learning opportunity about the leading preventable cause of death in the United States."

For more information on Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition programs and resources, visit www.tobaccofreems.org.