Wellness Center receives major grant

  POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College will expand its reach into the community through support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.
  The foundation awarded a grant of $198,171 to the PRCC Wellness Center to enhance the Wildcat Wellness Initiative.
  “We are truly excited about the opportunity to grow our Wellness Program with these funds from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation,” said Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president.   “ The funding that will be provided by this grant will allow Pearl River to grow and enhance its programs and services for our students, employees and the general public.
  “It is a pleasure for us to be able to partner with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Mississippi in providing quality health and wellness programs. We are most grateful for their continuing support.”
  The Wildcat Wellness Initiative will include two summer camps for elementary school children, assistance with the “Get Ready to Run” school program in Poplarville elementary schools, training employees and students to teach additional exercise classes and purchasing a variety of equipment.
    “We’re proud to support Pearl River Community College in its continued efforts to enhance its healthy campus culture,” said Sheila Grogan, executive director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. “PRCC has made significant progress in integrating wellness opportunities into its campus environment, and this grant will continue to support its efforts.”
    The PRCC Wellness Center offers membership to area residents as well as college students and employees.
  “This initiative will also include outdoor exercise equipment for everyone to use, bikes/trikes for students and faculty to check out and use on campus, balance ball desk chairs to improve posture and increase core-strength,  low ropes course for activity and team building, a mud run obstacle course, monthly one-mile fun run/walks on and off campus and healthy cooking demonstrations on and off campus,” said Tara Rouse, PRCC Wellness Center director.
  The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation awarded $286,270 to PRCC in 2012 to replace outdated equipment in the Wellness Center and construct an outdoor walking track. The grant was the first to be awarded to a community college by the foundation. A $68,000 grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation financed lighting and restrooms at the track.
  PRCC established the Wellness Center in 1996 to provide a safe exercise environment for the college and the community and to house the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
  The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation provides targeted funding throughout the state of Mississippi, focusing on interests related to health programs for schools, colleges and universities and communities. You can learn more at www.healthiermississippi.org.
  For more information on this grant or if you are interested in joining the PRCC Wellness Center, contact Tara Rouse at 601 403-1342 or trouse@prcc.edu.       

Sheila Grogran, second from left, presented a grant Sept. 8 from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation to Pearl River Community College for its Wellness Center Initiative. Shown with her are, from left, Tara Rouse, PRCC Wellness Center director; Dale Purvis, chairman of the PRCC Board of Trustees, and Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president.
PRCC Public Relations photo   

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