From preparing meals for the needy to expanding Y, good things happening here

Published 7:32 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2019

From feeding the hungry to a groundbreaking, there were many positives happenings going on in Vicksburg this week.

On Wednesday, more than 60 students from St. Aloysius High School and Vicksburg and Warren Central High schools packaged 10,000 meals to help end hunger.

“We’re going to pack 10,000 meals of red beans and rice,” said Madalyn Burke, St. Aloysius student body president and chairman of the school’s second Feeding Our Community project. “These meals will be distributed to local Warren County programs that help to feed the hungry.”

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The project was being done in connection with Families First and United Way of West Central Mississippi, and Burke said the meals will be distributed to Haven House, United Way, River City Rescue Mission and Lifting Lives Ministry.

“I am so glad to be here in this gymnasium to see everyone from all across the community come together for something that is very important and dear to my heart,” Michele Connelly, United Way executive director, told the students. “You give the substance that people need in order to be satisfied so they can be successful. Thank you very much.”

Also on Wednesday, the Vicksburg YMCA kicked off it’s almost $4 million expansion program with a groundbreaking ceremony in front of its present facility.

More than 100 people turned out for the event.

Ken Rector, who has headed the planning for the expansion, said the addition will include a facility that will help the Y accommodate more children for its day camp programs and other activities.

“We hope that as a result of that, that no child who wants to attend our summer day camp or holiday camp won’t be turned away in the future,” he said.

The addition will include a second gym, an area for children’s programs, and a multipurpose area for programs and expanding the fitness area.

In 1923, Fannie Johnson gave money to build the original YMCA to honor the memory of her husband, Junius Ward Johnson, executive director of the YMCA Phillip Doiron said, adding, “Not even she could imagine where we would be 96 years later.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. called the ceremony “the greatest day that Vicksburg can ever celebrate..YMCA, you have fulfilled your mission to me and to so many others. I ask that you continue and embrace the body spiritual and the minds of the fitness of the minds of the citizens of Vicksburg.”