Ordinary citizens make big impact

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, August 14, 2012

By SLADE BLACKWELL / Guest Columnist

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the Vandiver-Sterett Senior Center groundbreaking. The number of people who attended astounded me and the enthusiasm each person had for this project was admirable.

The Vandiver-Sterrett Senior Center started out as a dream of the Vandiver Park Board and through hard work and enthusiasm, it is now becoming a reality.

Funding for the senior center was provided by a $250,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and a $150,000 grant from the Community Health Foundation; the additional money needed was raised locally. While there are too many people to specifically name, I am proud of how ordinary citizens, like the ones on the Vandiver Park Board, realized a need in their community and stepped up to do something about it.

After the groundbreaking, I joined the large crowd at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church for a potluck lunch. Again, I witnessed a community of people working together to serve everyone a meal, which was generously donated by members of the church.

During lunch, I had the opportunity to meet new people and talk about issues facing Shelby County and the state. This is by far one of my favorite parts of being a state senator. It is always refreshing to discuss with people from different backgrounds, ages and occupations the local, state and national issues that we all face.

While this made for a busy day in the district, it’s days like this that remind me of why I ran for State Senate. It is the people like these that give me the desire and motivation to work even harder tomorrow for the people of Shelby County.

This is an exciting project and an excellent addition to the Sterrett and Vandiver areas. I know the new senior center will be put to good use by some great people. The center is set to be finished in November and I can’t wait to be there when it opens.

Sen. Slade Blackwell is serving his first term in the Alabama State Senate representing Shelby and Jefferson counties in District 15. For more information about Slade, please visit Sladeblackwell.com.