October 10, 2002
Methodist Rehabilitation Center, Jackson Bandits team up to promote hockey, revitalize area
By Collin Johnson
Health and Research News Service
JACKSON, Miss.—Methodist Rehabilitation Center and the other hospitals and colleges that make up the Jackson Medical Education District (JMED) are standing side-by-side with the Jackson Bandits for the 2002 hockey season.
It’s a partnership designed to help the Bandits stay in Jackson and to revitalize the JMED area where the proposed new home for the team is to be built.
“I feel that this relationship is going to benefit both organizations,” said Mark Adams, president and CEO of Methodist Rehab. “We along with the other JMED members want to see hockey stay in Jackson. And in the end, we feel that everyone will benefit from the new arena,” Adams added.
The institutions that make up JMED are encouraging their employees to support the team by buying season tickets and attending games. They are also helping in other ways.
Methodist Rehabilitation Center will host a season-opening pep rally for the team in the hospital’s two-story Atrium Mall on Tuesday, Oct. 15. The 4:30 p.m. event, which is open to the public, will kick off the season by bringing fans and Bandits players together for an hour-long celebration. Rally participants who arrive early will receive free hockey pucks and inflatable hockey sticks. After the rally, Methodist Rehab will host the team’s annual party for season ticket holders in its conference center at 5:30 p.m.
Representatives from the Bandits will also be in the Atrium Mall selling season tickets Oct. 15-16 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
But the hospital’s relationship with the Bandits is not one-sided.
Bandits players and staff are helping Methodist Rehab organize the state’s first sled hockey team for physically challenged athletes. The new team, which recently held its first clinic, hopes to compete against other sled hockey teams from all across the country.
“The Bandits have been very supportive of us and have offered to help whenever they can,” said Ginny Boydston, director of therapeutic recreation at Methodist Rehab. “Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable.” Bandits players are also helping Think First, the hospital’s injury prevention program, spread its safety message by visiting area schools.
“The support and encouragement we’ve received from JMED has been overwhelming,” said Brian Fenelon, one of the Bandits owners. They are working together to help us promote the team and the benefits it will bring to the entire area.”
If the proposed new arena comes to fruition, it could mean increased business and a higher profile for the district, which includes much of the Fondren area and north downtown Jackson. For JMED institutions reinvestment in the area is vital.
In 2001, Methodist Rehab opened Webb Park, the state’s first apartment complex designed for the physically disabled. Working with the non-profit Mississippi Methodist Accessible Housing, Inc., the hospital sought to build the first-of-its-kind building near Millsaps College in the heart of JMED.
“We’ve made a commitment to improving this area which is why we built Webb Park here and also why we’re supporting the Jackson Bandits now,” said Adams. “It’s important to all of us that this area prosper and we’re excited about its future.”
JMED member institutions include the University of Mississippi Medical Center, St. Dominic Health Services, Baptist Health Systems, Belhaven College, Millsaps College, G.V. “Sonny Montgomery” Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Methodist Rehabilitation Center.
For more information:
Rally to kick off Bandits' season | The Clarion-Ledger
Tammy Voynik, vice president of legal affairs at Methodist, celebrates a winning goal as Ryan Alter of the Jackson Bandits looks on.