MCHD Activities Team serves as starters for Old Mobile 8K 04.20.2024

April 20, 2024

MCHD Activities Team serves as starters for Old Mobile 8K

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department’s Activities Team used its cannon this morning to start the Old Mobile 8K race sponsored by the Port City Pacers. A large contingent gathered at Colonial Fort Condé in Downtown Mobile to either participate in the race or to cheer on the competitors.

In 2016, an initiative called “MCHD Declares War on Physical Inactivity” began. Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, then serving as Health Officer for Mobile County, pointed out that Alabama has one of the highest obesity percentages in America.

In an effort to encourage residents to go outside and enjoy our beautiful surroundings while exercising, Dr. Eichold arranged to borrow a Civil War re-enactment cannon to serve as the “starting gun” for the Azalea Trail Run that year. The response was so positive that Dr. Eichold acquired funds to purchase our own weapon to battle obesity, and the “Cannon Team” was formed.

MCHD has participated in a variety of outreach events over the years. Now, in a move to better describe its mission, the unit has changed its name to the “Activities Team.”

Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, who assumed the position of Health Officer in 2022, has continued supporting the Activities Team’s mission. He participates in community events and encourages residents to go outside and enjoy our beautiful surroundings while exercising.

The Lyle Line-Throwing Cannon, which has a 2.5-inch-diameter barrel, was manufactured by Coston in the early 1900s. It is not a replica, reproduction, or toy. The cannon was designed to fire a projectile attached to a rope to a boat or a victim in distress. Now, it is used to inspire those seeking a healthier lifestyle and just getting outside to enjoy our wonderful surroundings.

Derrick Scott supervises a team of MCHD employees that has been trained to safely use the device. Joining him on Saturday were Erika Goodman (who fired the cannon), Tommy Busby, Edward Franklin, Tiffany Jackson, Eddie Jones, Gwen Jones, Roxanne Lee, William Taylor, LaJoya Todd, Henry Wright, and Tremika Young.

Any other groups interested in having the MCHD Activities Team attend their event should contact the Communications Office by calling 251-690-8823 or via email at mbryant@mchd.org.

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