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Mah-jongg tourney raises $40K for Helping Center’s Learn4Life program

Mah-jongg tourney raises $40K for Helping Center

Mah-jongg players in Horseshoe Bay raised $40,000 in a tournament in 2021 for The Helping Center’s Learn for Life educational program, which teaches a healthy lifestyle to heart patients at Baylor Scott & White and the center’s clients. Learn for Life is a new offering at The Helping Center of Marble Falls. Courtesy photo

Some 200 players in The Club at Horseshoe Bay Resort 2021 Mah-jongg tournament raised $40,000 for The Helping Center’s Learn4Life educational program, which teaches people how to lead healthier lives. 

“The organizers and participants of (the tournament) are extremely proud to fund this important new program,” said tournament co-chair Jo Ellen Henderson. “Many of us have spent our lives as educators and believe that education and outreach, in the context of unconditional love, will make a difference in the lives of Helping Center clients and our community at large.” 

The Learn4Life program has a variety of courses, including Heart Healthy cooking classes, said Sam Pearce, the center’s executive director. 

The next cooking demo is 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, at the center, 1016 Broadway in Marble Falls. It will include samples of easy pinto bean soup along with all of the ingredients and a slow cooker at no charge. The Helping Center gave away blenders when students learned how to make smoothies. 

Each course includes demonstrations and ingredients available for free from The Helping Center’s food pantry. The center plans to hold one class per month for the next three months with more to come later.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to fellowship with our clients and be health-conscious,” Pearce said. “We give them ingredients, so they get a slow cooker and a meal in addition to the normal shopping (if they’re Helping Center clients).”

Helping Center heart health boxes
Boxes containing heart-healthy foods are prepared by The Helping Center of Marble Falls as part of its new Learn4Life educational program. Heart patients at Baylor Scott & White are given vouchers to pick up the boxes after discharge. Clients at The Helping Center can participate in cooking classes for the ingredients. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The heart health program is in partnership with Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Marble Falls. Each food box contains items vetted by hospital experts specifically for discharged congestive heart patients. Hospital staff give vouchers to patients, who stop by The Helping Center for the boxes. Boxes are also available to The Helping Center’s clients. 

A recent box contained juice, low-fat milk, pink salmon, tuna, green beans, spinach, corn, carrots, sweet peas, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, applesauce, peaches, grits, oats, whole wheat pasta, dried fruit, brown rice, split peas or lentils, whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas, and Dash seasoning.

Upcoming Learn4Life classes will be on parenting, overcoming alcoholism, and other ways to lead healthier lives.