Marysville community learns about healthy living | SLIDESHOW

MARYSVILLE — Thousands of local kids, teens and adults spent Saturday, June 2, learning ways to become and stay healthy, despite rainy morning weather.

The fourth annual Healthy Communities Challenge Day was held at the Allen Creek Elementary School’s play-field and hosted dozens of vendors and informational booths all with the intent of inspiring more active lifestyles in local families.

“It was a lot of fun and very high energy,” said city of Marysville Recreation Coordinator Andrea Kingsford. “People were definitely engaged. The families that were there stayed the whole time.”

An estimated 2,500 people attended the day filled with fun and 892 people signed up for Snohomish County’s Get Movin’ program.

In addition to a multitude of organizations and groups with booths, the Parks and Recreation department distributed 144 hula hoops, hundreds of small beach balls and whirligig toys that twirl in the air for the children.

The event was host to a number of exercise and physical fitness demonstrations including Zumba, rock-climbing, bouncy houses, rowing machines, tumbling, hula-hooping, calisthenics, golfing, jump-ropes and weightlifting. Several booths offered healthy snacks and information on recreational activities including trail hiking, dancing and gymnastics. Nutritional and health information was also at hand, including anti-smoking materials and food intake education.

Children enjoyed the more exciting aspects of being active, including Jasmine Steward, 7, who said the day was “really fun.”

And the kids weren’t the only ones pleased with Healthy Communities Challenge Day.

“This is our second time here,” said one local mother who directed a hula-hooping tutorial under the pseudonym Turnity. “It’s great. It gives us an idea of what to do this summer and I love all the positive messages.”

Members of the Marysville Cooperative Education Program were in attendance and glad to have a sizable crowd.

“It’s a great event,” said MCEP Public Relations Coordinator Andrea Gipson. “It’s so involved. I think it’s just wonderful.”

The challenge day also featured live entertainment, including performances by the Hot Dog USA Jump Rope Team and Seattle magician Louie Foxx, who was recently featured on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” They also hosted ZumbaAtomic dancers and a performance by members of the Arlington School of Dance.

Michael Jefferson, a recent “Survivor: One World” contestant and Marysville native, also attended the event and was open to giving out autographs.

“People were able to meet him and ask questions about his experience on ‘Survivor,’” said Kingsford of Jefferson, who has previously worked in the Marysville Parks and Recreation Department.

Parks and Recreation offered information on ‘95210 for Health’ a new campaign developed by Community Health Solutions for promoting child health and life-long healthy habits for individuals. It’s a list of five tips for staying healthy — get nine hours of sleep, eat five servings of fruits and vegetables, limit screen time to two hours a day, and eliminate sugary drinks and tobacco.

The event was hosted in collaboration with the Marysville Community Coalition, Healthy Communities Project, Snohomish County Get Movin’, Marysville School District, YMCA, United Way/Marysville Kids Matter, Sno-Isle Library, Cedar Grove Composting, Summit Rehabilitation, Hillside Church and many other organizations.

The Marysville Lions Club brought in health screening vans for participants to check their blood pressure, heart rate, vision, hearing and blood sugar levels, free of charge.

A number of local sponsors helped to make the event possible, as well as several volunteers.

“We also had some incredible teen volunteers from the Marysville YMCA and athletes from the Marysville School District. Their volunteerism is so valuable for this event,” said Kingsford. “They do a fantastic job and are so appreciated by all of the exhibitors who they help.”


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