By Tia Lynn Lecorchick and Natalie Byrd staff writer
The First Annual BAY (Being Aware of Yourself) Day was held Saturday, July 12 at the Morgan County Middle School to educate people about their health and encourage people to take an active role being aware of their own health issues. About 450 people attended BAY Day. The event raised over $2000 that will be used to start a scholarship fund for Morgan County residents. The event was organized by the Wayne “Bay” Brown Foundation. Wayne Brown died at the age of 40 from a heart attack on February 19 while competing in an adult league basketball tournament at the Morgan County Rec Department. His fiance, Edmetris Moore, president and founder of the foundation, aims to honor Brown’s memory by helping others avoid Brown’s tragic fate. “We hope that bringing awareness annually will help save more lives,” said Moore. “The main purpose was to make everyone aware of themselves. We have a lot of people who are at risk of heart attacks and strokes, but they have no idea.
We want to change that.” According to Moore, Brown had no idea about his heart condition prior to his death, so she hope to encourage others to take control of their health. “Not everyone out there goes to doctors. People need to be able to recognize the signs and know how to give CPR,” explained Moore. Many of the attendents wore bright orange t-shirts with Brown’s face on it to show their support. BAY Day organizers, including Shalisha Sanders, vice president of the foundation and little sister of Wayne Brown, wanted the event to be recreational, as well as educational. Minister Quentin Sanders opened the event in prayer and the National Anthem sung by Jatariea Bryant The event featured two speakers addressing the crowd about health issues. Shawna Woodruff, a doctor, spoke to the crowd about the dangers of heart disease and how imperative it is to keep the heart healthy. “If you wait, it’s too late,” she told the crowd. “Many of us are here in remembrance of either a family member, a friend, or acquaintance,” said Woodruff. “Don’t wait on a doctor or another person to educate them, you need to be the one to educate them…Health is something you gotta be proactive about.” Chloe Davis, a doctor, taught the crowd how to perform CPR. The even also featured games, prizes, food, and a basketball tournament. Ten local adult basketball teams competed in a tournament at the event for the crowd. The basketball team, The Peacemakers from Eatonton, won the tournament, receiving a trophy and each player was given a basketball. “We hope everyone had fun, but learned more about their health. Our future goals are to continue to raise awareness and assist through our scholarship program to be proactive about their health,” said Moore.