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Hattiesburg hosts its 2nd annual Franklyn L. Tate Community Health Day celebration


Hattiesburg-The City of Hattiesburg will host its 2nd annual Franklyn L. Tate Community Health Day celebration on Sat., Oct. 19 at Town Square Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Town Square is located on the corner of Buschman and North Main Streets.

Franklyn L. Tate Community Health Day pays homage to the city’s efforts to fight obesity and other preventable illnesses and the life of Tate who was the City of Hattiesburg Director of Federal and State Programs and a YMCA staple when he died last year.
The event will kick-off with a walking parade featuring the Hattiesburg High School Marching Band, The National Double-Dutch League based in Bronx, New York; Dr. Hannah Gay, a pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center who gained worldwide notoriety when she “functionally cured” an infant of HIV and former Philadelphia Eagles Football Star Todd Pinkston. Various health and community-driven organizations will also be represented during the parade.

Upon entering Town Square, participants of Franklyn L. Tate Community Health Day will be privy to a slew of health-related exhibitors who will provide information on how to adopt and sustain a healthier lifestyle.  Agencies promoting adult and kid-friendly extracurricular activities will be on hand. The crowd can also expect electrifying exhibitions from Pinkston and the jump rope troupe who aims to inspire the return of jump roping as a sport within area schools to lower Mississippi’s obesity rate.  There will be a few surprises in store, plus tug-of-war battles between area media. Some of the city’s finest from the Hattiesburg Police and Fire Departments will adopt a team which is sure to continue their epic tug-of-war rivalry.

Near the conclusion of the event, citizens will have access to a mouth-watering display of fresh fruits and vegetables provided by J and J Produce Company and donated roasted peanuts from Logan’s Roadhouse restaurant. Lunch will be provided by Subway Restaurant and beverages from Coca Cola Bottling Company and Brown Bottling Group who have all assisted this endeavor since 2011, along with many other city-sponsored events. O’ Charley’s will provide a few freshly baked apple pies and sandwich platters. Other snacks will be available thanks to All Brands Foods. In years past, some people have walked away with treadmills, stationary bikes, bicycles, gym memberships, and Southern Miss homecoming tickets just for showing up. The same is to be expected on Oct. 19. Also, participants of the recent Mississippi Mayor’s Let’s Play Challenge will have their chance to win a “26 mountain bike for their efforts to help the city win a KaBoom playground in an effort to beat obesity.

“Franklyn was a person who strived for excellence daily-mentally and physically-as well as my friend,” said Mayor Johnny DuPree.  “As we strive to earn Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation’s Healthiest Hometown designation and a grant award of $50 thousand next year, we believe this annual event provides a wonderful opportunity to win the award, plus honor Franklyn’s life and tireless efforts to enhance the families of this area. I am very proud of how the community has responded;  many public and private sectors are playing a major role in ensuring this year’s event is life-changing for citizens especially with the co-funding of the double-dutch troupe’s visit to the Pine Belt,” said DuPree.

Since 2011’s designation as a “Healthy Hometown” by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, health agencies and businesses have joined the City’s fight against obesity. The list of people wanting to play a key role in the move to a healthier Mississippi continues to grow.  This year’s sponsors and exhibitors thus far are:

  • All Brands Foods (sponsor)
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (sponsor)
  • American Cancer Society
  • Anatomies (sponsor)
  • Antonelli College
  • Area Development Partnership (sponsor)
  • Bancorp South Bank (sponsor)
  • Bourne Brothers Printing (sponsor)
  • Brown Bottling Group (sponsor)
  • Caffee, Caffee & Associates
  • Citizens Bank (sponsor)
  • Coca Cola Bottling Company (sponsor)
  • Cotton Blues (sponsor)
  • Domestic Abuse Family Shelter
  • Drayer Physical Therapy Institute
  • Eubanks Produce Company (sponsor)
  • Electronic Caregiver Mobile Unit
  • Enterprise Car Rental (sponsor)
  • Fit Fine & Fabulous
  • Forrest General Hospital (sponsor)
  • FOX 23 (tug-of-war)
  • Good Twin, Bad Twin Talk Show (sponsor)
  • Hattiesburg American (tug-of-war)
  • Hattiesburg High School March Band (performer)
  • Hattiesburg Hot Yoga (performer)
  • Healing Touch and Spa
  • Heart South
  • Home Depot
  • J and J Construction
  • J and J Produce Company (sponsor)
  • Jump In’ Gymnastics & Tumbling (performer)
  • La Leche League
  • Lenny’s Sub Shop (sponsor)
  • Leroy Hill Coffee Co Inc. (sponsor)
  • Living Water Natural Healing & Health Solution
  • Logan’s Roadhouse Restaurant (sponsor)
  • Magnolia Travel Agency (sponsor)
  • M & M Media Group (sponsor)
  • MS Ballroom Association (performer)
  • MS Organ Recovery Agency
  • MS State Dept. of Health\Southeast Public Health District VIII
  • MS State Dept. of Health\ Office of Preventive Health
  • Neel-Schaffer  (sponsor)
  • Nick Floyd and Associates
  • O’ Charley’s (sponsor)
  • Oseola McCarty Youth Development Center
  • Obesity Coalition
  • Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services
  • Play It Again Sports (sponsor)
  • Plexus Slim
  • Purple Dragon School of Martial Arts
  • Regions Bank (sponsor)
  • Sacred Heart Catholic School
  • Sherwin-Williams (sponsor)
  • Shoe Carnival (sponsor)
  • Soccer Locker (sponsor)
  • Southeast MS Rural Health Initiative
  • Speedy Printing & Signs (sponsor)
  • Stretch-n-Grow
  • Subway (sponsor)
  • Susan Light Foundation
  • Target (sponsor)
  • Taylor Rental (sponsor)
  • Tiger-Rock Martial Arts
  • The First Bank(sponsor)
  • Thompson Engineering (sponsor)
  • Trustmark Bank (sponsor)
  • UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • United Blood Services
  • United Healthcare Group
  • United Way of Southeast Mississippi
  • USM College of Health
  • USM School of Nursing
  • Vitamins Plus (sponsor)
  • Walgreens(sponsor)
  • Wal-Mart (sponsor)
  • WastePro Recycling (sponsor)
  • William Carey University Medical School
  • WHLT 22 (tug-of-war)
  • YMCA
  • 24 7 Fitness Studio (sponsor and exhibitor)
  • 32 Degrees (sponsor and exhibitor)

Please stay tuned to and the City of Hattiesburg’s social media pages for further updates. To learn how you may participate in the event, please contact City of Hattiesburg Public Relations Coordinator Chinika Hughes at 601.545.4508 or via email at

To learn how you may join the walking parade, please contact Linda Montgomery, administrative assistant to the City of Hattiesburg Fire Chief, at 601.582.3311 or via email at The parade is open to any individual or organization that strives daily to enhance the community’s mental, physical and environmental state.