SOOH Symposium: Health for You
Sunday, September 28, 2008

LANSING, MI -- To many who attended The State of Our Health: Through the Voices of Our People symposium, the day was filled with informative and engaging speakers and vendor tables.

The choice to put so many issues together in one symposium proved to be a novel idea.  There were attendees who because they had become so accustomed to their symptoms they weren’t aware any longer that there may be a health problem looming.

The vendors also had the opportunity to hear stories from the people who had the diseases that they were exhibiting on.

Marvin Cato, who was the moderator of the event received high marks.  He too has a story.  While pursuing a doctorate, he became extremely ill.  He later found that he had diabetes.

Volunteering along with Mr. Cato, was Deana Newman, who in a taped interview told a story of her life as a teenager and how she lost her mother to a disease.  She’s now dedicated to educating people about taking care of themselves and being more healthy.

Both of these individuals, benefited from many of the other resources that were available.  The day was rich with learning.

Carrie Owens said, “I have learned so much today.  You know, I’m in my seventies and I was pleased with all of the information that I received.”

The State of Our Health’s (SOOH’s) keynote speakers were Christine Johnson, mother of basketball great Earvin “Magic Johnson” and Jolina Wade, mother of basketball phenomenon Dwayne Wade.They both gave speeches that deserved standing ovations.

Even though some couldn’t make the event, they passed the information on to others.

John Elmore of Lutheran Social Services in Grand Rapids said, “This first-time free symposium is a wonderful service to the community. The connection to the sports world via the moms of famous athletes is an intriguing one.”

“We are beginning the planning process for our next symposium.  We believe in those who support our love for this community.  Two hundred bags containing left over materials were handed out   at the “Back in the Day Picnic” stuffed with health and nutrition information”, said Rina Risper, Coordinator of SOOH.

SOOH is hoping to partner with more businesses and organizations in an effort to educate and reach more people.  Their motto is Nourish, Grow and Live! 


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