March 26, 2009
The YMCA of Western North Carolina and UNC Asheville will host “YMCA Healthy Kids Day” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 18, on the UNC Asheville campus. Healthy Kids Day, the nation’s largest health day for children and families, will feature fun, engaging and creative activities to promote wellness and healthy living. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. on the lawn in front of UNC Asheville’s Justice Center and will continue throughout the day. Events will be held at the main stage at UNC Asheville’s Karl Strauss Track and at other locations across campus. The event is free and open to the public.
“As families struggle to balance life’s daily demands and persevere during an economic downturn, it is important that we reach beyond our YMCA facility to the entire community,” said Bryan Messing, Asheville YMCA Wellness Director. “In Buncombe County, we’ve been doing this with the annual YMCA Healthy Kids Day event for more than three years. Through this event, the YMCA of Western North Carolina and our partners have given our neighbors the opportunity to take their minds off daily stresses, and instead have fun and focus on positive sustainable healthy lifestyle changes together, as a family.”
This year, activities will include health screenings, educational demonstrations, internet safety tips and disaster preparedness information. Family games and activities will also be featured, including a bike safety rodeo; yoga, zumba and hula hoop classes; face painting; martial arts and kayak demonstrations; healthy snacks; and more.
“UNC Asheville is totally revved up for Healthy Kids Day,” said Kathie Garbe, Chair of UNC Asheville’s Health and Wellness Department and event co-director. “Healthy Kids Day allows us to be a part of a vibrant and active Buncombe County community that promotes healthy choices and active lives among children and families.”
YMCA Healthy Kids Day will be celebrated at more than 1,700 YMCA locations across the country. Last year, more than 900 people participated in local events, while 700,000 participated in YMCA Healthy Kids Day events nationwide.
Local sponsors include Greenlife Grocery and Earth Fare Markets, as well as dozens of Western North Carolina organizations and businesses who will host activities throughout the daylong event. National sponsors are Disney Channel’s Playhouse Disney, Eli Lilly and Company, Huggies Little Swimmers Brand, Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Tropicana. YMCA Healthy Kids Day is also supported by the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.
For more information about local YMCA Healthy Kids Day events, call Messing at 828.210.YMCA or visit www.ymcawnc.org.