QA with Edward Ward

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Q: When did the Ratliff Center open and how did you become involved?

A: The center opened of October of 2005. My involvement, basically, began when I applied for the position. I have always had interest in children from my days of working with the juvenile court. This keeps me involved with the children.

Q: What does it take to make a non-profit center run smoothly?

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A: Firstly, I am a firm believer in professionalism. Whatever programs are implemented have to be done in a professional manner. Professionalism is the key.

Q: How is the center funded?

A: Actually, the center is funded by the city of Demopolis. It is owned and operated by the city as well. Specifically, parks and recreations run it.

Q: How is the National Basketball Association involved with the center?

A: We have just received $5,000 from the NBA, which was funding to assist in the instrumentation of our programs we have here. We are also looking at a grant for obesity for our children to educate them on the dangers of obesity and why it is so important to keep a healthy diet.

Q: How does a non-profit center benefit the community?

A: Basically, it is for the people of the city. It is not limited to any certain age, group or denomination.

I think in that way, being non-profit, would benefit.

Q: What is provided to the community from the Ratliff Center?

A: We want to think that we touch the lives of everyone. We have programs for senior citizens, youth, tutoring program, and aerobics for working class.

Q: How involved is the community with the center?

A: Very much involved. We have had about 24,000 participants in a year&8217;s time. So, that tells you what kind of involvement there is here.

Q:What kind of volunteer opportunities do people have available to do here at the center?

A: Basically, they just need to come and let me know what their interests are. We are open to any and all volunteers that want to donate time. We just want to know a little about the person, so we know where they would be the most help and also where they would enjoy volunteering the most.