The recent opening of Cleveland County’s new Wellness Square has raised a number of questions, like “What is the Well?” and “Does it have a gym or a swimming pool?”
No to the gym and the pool, but The Well does host a variety of classes related to health, happiness and well-being.
The mission of The Well is “… to make Cleveland County the healthiest and happiest it can be.” To accomplish that, The Well provides access, education, programs, events and activities to all residents at low or no cost.
Every week, I’d like to explore those classes and the teachers in this column, starting with Norman estate planning attorney Mona Guziar.
Mona was born in Romania and moved to the United States over 15 years ago, settling in Norman in 2013. There is no sales pitch involved in her classes, Mona stressed, which is a common concern she hears from people.
“I’ve been doing these classes in different settings for almost two years now,” she said. “I feel like it’s my duty to give back to the community in any way I can.”
Classes will focus on different topics, from minor children, to blended families, to financial assets and how they fit into the estate plan — people can attend multiple classes and learn something new each time. She also includes guest speakers in some of the classes.
“I think there is a desperate need for education in various legal areas,” Mona said. “People are suffering or are afraid to call and ask because they think it’s going to cost them money. They don’t know that they have options, and that there are many things they can do on their own.”
Rich or poor doesn’t matter — most people have some sort of asset, such as life insurance or retirement plans, she said.
“When I talk to a class, I don’t just share information — I have to fight against misconceptions,” she said. “One of the biggest is that people think if they have a will, the family is protected. People also think if they aren’t rich or sick or old that they don’t need to think about estate planning, but they do.”
Classes last up to an hour-and-a-half based on how many questions people have, but the core presentation is around an hour, and people are free to leave if they need to.
“We have the room for two hours so people can stay if they have more questions,” Mona said. “People are encouraged to ask questions and share stories. I’m not just standing up there and talking.”
Mona said when the opportunity came up to teach at The Well, she was very excited.
“I was on the board with Norman Kiwanis when Tara Douglas and County Commissioner Darry Stacy came to talk to us about the Well, and I fell in love with the concept,” she said. “I think it’s a great resource for the community.”
The Well’s mission dovetails with her personal ideology. Mona volunteers in various ways and is a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
“I just believe in giving back,” she said.