Hattiesburg celebrates being a "Healthy Hometown"

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg city officials threw a big party downtown Saturday to celebrate healthy living in the Hub City. A first-ever, Community Health Day at Town Square Park was in recognition of Hattiesburg's new designation as a "Healthy Hometown."

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation chose Hattiesburg as one of just a few cities in the state to receive the honor.  Along with it went a grant for $25,000, which was presented to Mayor Johnny Dupree during the event.

Mayor Dupree, in turn, gave $5,000 of that money to the Pine Belt Wellness Council. That new initiative between the City of Hattiesburg and Forrest General Hospital will also help promote healthy lifestyles in the area.

"There are 3 towns in Mississippi that receive this award," said Sheila B. Grogan, executive director of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. "The city of Starkville received "Healthiest Hometown" 2011 and the City of Sumrall received a "Healthy Hometown" for its population category of under 5000," Grogan said.

"We've always tried to support efforts to make our community a healthier community and that's what this is about today, to highlight all of the things we've been doing with partners to make sure that we can have a healthy community" said Mayor Johnny Dupree.

5 signs touting Hattiesburg's "Healthy Hometown" designation will soon be put up at various locations throughout the city.

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