LaGrange Mayor, Local Leaders Attend Wake Up to Your Future Event at Tall Pines
Local and state leaders sent a strong message to the Tall Pines community during the Wake Up to Your Future gathering on Wednesday: we’re here to help. The event, aimed at guiding residents toward a more aware and active future, featured several onsite booths providing employment and education resources.
Event organizer Teara Harris said the inspiration came at the request of a Tall Pines resident a month ago. Eager to help, Harris sought the way to best connect Tall Pines residents with necessary resources.
“That’s why we brought everyone here,” she said, addressing a crowd of onlookers that included community residents and elected officials. By bringing resources to residents’ front yards, she said, no one would have a reason to miss out.
But residents received more than just resources; they also got the necessary motivation to use them. Harris went door to door Wednesday to encourage residents to participate in the event’s uplifting community dialogue.
Quay Boddie and his aunt, Viedra Sullivan, kicked off the dialogue with two passionate speeches.
The first step to positive change, the pair argued, is to start living intentionally. For Sullivan, this means following the 3 A’s: Awareness, Accountability, and Action.
“My life changed the day I decided it would,” said Sullivan, who went from being a single mother of four to the founder of Intentional Me after securing both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
To make progress, they said, would require personal action as well as the right resources. Sullivan acknowledged that this may not always seem easy—especially at first— before offering a bit of wisdom.
In life, she said, we’re guided by a Heavenly GPS—“God’s Protection System”—and that if we just get moving, God will map out a road to our destination for us.
Body also made reference to the Lord in his speech, calling on the community to support, encourage, and love one another according to Biblical mandates. Only through the right cooperation, he said, could the community truly be uplifted.
LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton, Georgia House Minority Leader Bob Trammell, and LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar underscored this message as they participated in the event’s community dialogue session.
For his part, LaGrange Mayor Jim said that help for the community would come through the right partnership between individuals, groups, and nonprofit resources. LaGrange, he said, had many community resources available and that proper cooperation between different groups would increase access to residents in need.
Yvonne Lopez, CEO of Ark Refuge Ministries and candidate for Troup County Commissioner for District 4, was also on site providing support to the community. Lopez provided free face shields to attendees on Wednesday.
Lopez, who has dedicated her life to serving others in the name of the Lord, looked out over the event and smiled.
“I’m so encouraged to see community come together in such a way to shine a light on the plight here at Tall Pines,” she said, adding that her work with Ark Refuge has often put her working in the Tall Pines community bringing food and relief throughout the year.
“It’s just a wonderful opportunity for the community to have a chance to come together to work on the issues in one area at a time,” she said, stating that the high concentration of resources in Tall Pines provided effective help.
A representative of Congressman Drew Ferguson’s office came, as well, to speak on broadband access in rural communities, following a speech by Chief Lou Dekmar on resources available on behalf of the LaGrange Police Department. Booths available included Stellar Staffing, West Georgia Technical College, Circles of Troup County, and many more.
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