By Rebekah Martin
The Casey Family Foundation, the nation’s leading non-profit organization that works to reduce the need for foster care in the United States, recently named Opelika one of its 12 ‘Communities of Hope.’
Local businessman Jimmy Wright, who has spearheaded the Carver-Jeter Master Plan since its initation, has teamed up with various community leaders to form the Community of Hope advisory board which will meet for the first time Feb. 8.
“[We will be] looking and seeing where we are in Opelika when it comes to family issues and also programs for our children. At the end of the day this really is kind of a parallel to our work on the Carver-Jeter Plan,” Wright said. “The Carver-Jeter Plan really addresses the development of the neighborhoods, when it comes to housing and business, recreation and bike paths, things like that.”
Wright said the process to begin working with the foundation began in the spring of 2014, when he and Mayor Gary Fuller connected with Dr. Page Walley of the Casey Family Foundation.
“Casey is a very large organization, and we feel very fortunate to work with them. Most of the communities they work with are much larger than ours,” Wright added. “We were fortunate to meet Dr. Walley and have that connection and that he was interested in what Opelika was doing, and particularly the work that we were doing in the Carver-Jeter Plan.