ENNIS — As a part of the sixth annual Ennis Martin Luther King Celebration, members of “Unity In The Community” held an information festival and health awareness fair. Held at James Bowie Elementary, the fair was host to about 500 people.
“The festival, part of a four-day series of events, is a community event to promote health awareness and provide information to the community regarding health, education, employment and social programs,” co-chairman Shirley Watson said in describing the event’s scope.
“The Martin Luther King Celebration began on Thursday with an oratory competition, continuing Saturday with the festival, a memorial service on Sunday and ending Monday with a three-on-three basket ball competition,” Watson said.
“Every year we get bigger with more agencies participating and more members of the community attending,” she said. “We would like to see more of the area cities and their resources be involved. We work throughout the year to line up these people for this festival.”
Several health groups provided free screenings, including blood pressure, blood sugar, mammography and prostate. Medical personnel representing Ennis Regional Medical Center, the Baylor Medical System and UT Tyler provided the screenings.
One of the participants was Capt. Domingo Galban of the Ennis Police Department.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to come together to learn about available health care programs,” he said. “The screenings are a good chance for many people to learn about their own health care.”
Galban and other members of the Ennis Police Department provided a child identity program.
“We collect information and put it on a document along with the child’s photo taken for the parents to have in the event of an emergency”, Galban said.
Health professionals also were on hand providing information about health care, diet and specific illness care.
“Diet is very important in any health care program,” Alison Wright of Ennis Regional Medical Center said.
Other groups present were several colleges as well as Army and Navy recruiters.
“We are here to provide parents and students information about opportunities the Navy can offer,” Navy recruiter Matthew Patton said.
Colleges present included Texas A&M at Commerce, Navarro College and Paul Quinn College.
Duuana Leaks-Henderson represented the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“I am here to provide information about job safety awareness to students and the community,” she said. “We want people to work with employers to maintain a safe work environment.”
Winners of the celebration’s oratory contest also were announced.
•pre-kindergarten through second grade
first place – Delana Willey,
second place – Tomarria Wallace
third place – Alysha Laws
• third through fifth grade
first place – Braxton Davis
second place – Mikeala Echols
third place – Phadashais Wallace
• sixth through eighth grade
first place – Shabrekia Richardson
second place – Maiya Davis
third grade – LaSaubda Hogan
• ninth through 12th grade
first place – Bobby Dowell,
second place – Crystal Perkins
third place – Shuneece Davis