Healthy Kids Day draws active crowds at YMCA

MARYSVILLE — With childhood obesity rates on the rise nationwide, Marysville isn’t the only “fat city” in America, and the YMCA of Snohomish County has provided families throughout the region with one way of helping them fight the new “battle of the bulge” successfully.

To that end, the Marysville YMCA once again took part in the YMCA’s annual Healthy Kids Day April 18, drawing an estimated total of nearly 600 children and their families to the Marysville YMCA for three hours of activities designed to educate and motivate kids and adults alike.

Caroline Brown, health and wellness director for the Marysville YMCA, credited the Marysville Healthy Communities Project and Naval Station Everett as key partners in providing many features of the program, along with the city of Marysville Parks and Recreation Department, the Marysville Fire District, the American Red Cross and the Marysville Rotary.

Vision screenings and information booths on nutrition, dental care and the dangers of tobacco use shared gym space at the Marysville YMCA with guide dog demonstrations, youth dance performances and tables staffed by Relay For Life and Kloz 4 Kids members.

Quinn King looked on as his 10-year-old son, Daylin, tried out some video games by Game Crazy, a local store that sells video games which keep kids physically active, such as the Nintendo Wii and Dance Dance Revolution.

“It’s neat that they’re teaching kids the importance of health,” King said, as his son worked up a sweat with Mario onscreen. “Of course, as mom and dad, we already work out with our kids, because we have to set the example. Families stay fit together.”

King also appreciated that Naval Station Everett was dispensing colorful wristbands with which attendees could show their support for troops serving overseas, while his son enjoyed being able to practice his baseball skills with an on-site pitching machine.

Rachelle Vicker brought not only her own children, but also a few nephews and nieces, all of whom sampled “rainbow roll-ups” of health food from local chef Michael Aspen. She cited the YMCA’s local activities as one part of what she sees as a highly active, kid-centric community as a whole.

“It’s just fantastic,” Vicker said. “The YMCA does a great job of putting these on. All our kids have been going around, getting stamps from all the different areas, so that they can get free T-shirts at the end.”

Trish Neal photographed her daughters, Sabrina and Taryn, as they sat in a Marysville fire engine for the “Touch a Truck” portion of the event.

“We always come out to the Y for swimming,” Neal said, before her daughters boarded the Rotary train. “It’s nice how many people turn out for events like this. It really lets kids interact with the rest of the community.”

Brown noted that the Marysville YMCA will be offering the kickoff to its equally fitness-oriented Get Movin’ summer program June 6 from 1-3 p.m.

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