Community comes together for a healthier Wise

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, March 13, 2013

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Crackpots for Crock-Pots.

That was the joking name of the drive to buy 100 Crock-Pots to distribute to families that will participate in the Decatur Cares summer feeding program.

The “crackpot” in this case is actually far from it – former Decatur mayor Joe Lambert, who was instrumental in getting the program started two years ago and continues to play an active role. Decatur Cares is open to families in the Decatur school district who qualify for free or reduced lunches.

Brian Knox

Brian Knox

The program has grown in scope, and it looks like it will grow again this year. The first year, families came and picked up bags of food to take home. Last year, in addition to the bags of food, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service provided free meal preparation demonstrations.

This year organizers are looking to take the program a step further by providing families with their own Crock-Pot slow cookers. Lambert has been out in the community talking to people, businesses and organizations in the past few days, seeking donations to purchase 100 Crock Pots.

As of Tuesday, he had secured pledges or donations to cover the purchase of 50 Crock-Pots – halfway to his goal.

It sounds more like genius than crackpot to me.

The Extension service will once again provide meal preparation demonstrations and will incorporate the use of the Crock-Pot.

If you or your group is interested in purchasing Crock Pots (they are around $17 each), call Lambert at 940-393-1748.


I was able to attend my first Wise County Health Forum meeting recently. I was impressed by the representation from various health-related fields and the good work being done locally, particularly in the area of health education.

Here are a few upcoming health-related events to mark on your calendar:

  • Wise Regional Health System will host a bone marrow registration drive noon to 3 p.m. Friday, March 15, in the lobby of the main hospital. Approximately 20,000 people are currently in search of a bone marrow donation, and typically only 40 percent of them will find a match. Registering only requires a quick cheek swab. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 55 with a BMI under 40 can register.
  • The next Mary’s Gift Day is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at Wise Regional Health System. Mary’s Gift provides free mammogram screenings for eligible women. Screenings are by appointment only, and space is limited. Call 940-626-1384.
  • The Wise Hope Crisis Center’s Outreach Office recently moved into a permanent home at 608 N. Business U.S. 81/287 in Decatur. The center will have an open house 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 1.
  • The Wise County Community Health Fair, sponsored by United Way of Wise County, is set for 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 13. Vendors are still being accepted, and the cost of each table space is $60. Payment is due Monday, March 25. Vendor registration forms can be found at wisecountyunitedway.org/healthforum.html.
  • The Wise County Child Health Summit, sponsored by the Wise Coalition for Healthy Children, is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at the Decatur Civic Center. Among the speakers will be Larry Tubb with Cook Children’s Health Care System, who will present Wise County-specific information from the Cook Children’s Community-wise Children’s Health Assessment and Planning Survey (CCHAPS) data.
  • The Wise County Family Fun Fest is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27. The safety-themed event at Wise Regional Health System will include a bicycle obstacle course and helmet giveaway, fire truck and helicopter tours, the Wise County Sheriff’s rescue boat, CPR and AED demonstrations, a driving simulator, swimming skills evaluations for ages 4 to 12, a jump house, raffles and giveaways, and free hot dogs and drinks.
  • The Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure will take place at Ray Roberts Park in Denton County this year rather than the LBJ National Grasslands in Wise County as in previous years. Riders will mount up Oct. 26.

The Wise County Health Forum meets monthly at the Decatur City Hall Community Room. The next meeting is 9 a.m. Thursday, March 28.

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