Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

BZS Community Center Exercise Room Dedication

By Cokeitha Gaddist

On Saturday, June 4, BZS Community Center located in Ruffin had the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the center’s new exercise room. The exercise room was dedicated in memory of the late and former BZC Community Center Director, Katie Fennell Washington. Washington died four years ago on Oct. 5 at the 91 years old. “She put her heart and soul into this community and this dedication is in recognition of her contributions to the BZS Community Center and the community where she lived and loved,” said Sirena Memminger, chairperson of Hand-In-Hand Community Outreach (HIHCO). The exercise room has a newly restored wood floor refreshed windows and walls. It is stocked with exercise equipment that includes two recumbent exercise bike, barbell weights, stability balls and aerobic steps.

Annie Washington Burgess standing with her mother’s picture inside of Mrs. Katie Fennell Washington Exercise room. Photos by Cokeitha Gaddist.


Washington’s daughter, Annie Washington Burgess, represented her mother at the Exercise Room Dedication and the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. “This day is the fruits of labor that my mother put into her community and the BZS Community Center,” says Burgess. “Mom lived a few miles down the streets and helped to get this building, she wanted a safe and welcoming place for kids and families and to come together to socialize,” she said.

Sirena Memminger with two scholarship winners

The Mrs. Katie Fennell Washington Exercise Room was funded through a grant received by HIHCO from the Costal Community Foundation: Neighborhoods Energized to Win (N.E.W) Fund. The grant supports projects that improve the quality of life to develop and sustain leadership within N.E.W. Fund neighborhoods such as youth activities, health & wellness programs, and voter registration drives. Danica Whitney, Program Director for Coastal Community Foundation

Mary Joanna Dubois teaching crocheting

N.E.W. Fund was present to acknowledge HIHCO for accomplishing their goals. “Congratulation on the Exercise Room Dedication, the community has lots to look forward to and the N.E.W Fund is proud that we could contribution,” said Whitney.
This day also kicks off the Ruffin Summer Fun Program at the Center. The day included: Crocheting with Mary Joanne Dubois for Teens and adults, The Art of Chess with Chess Master Carl Coffin for ages five to 16, High Powered Aerobics in the new exercise room with Instructor Magdaline Monroe and a community fish fry.


Cokeitha Gaddist (67 Posts)