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Let's Move Day 2013 Stories
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Mountain View Japanese Church & South Bay Chinese Church - Mountain View, California
On a brisk, invigorating Sunday morning, various members of the Mountain View Japanese Church teamed up with those of the South Bay Chinese Church to launch the first, unprecedented Let's Move Day held at Shoreline Park in Mountain View, CA. Let's Move Day, an initiative conceived by the North American Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, is a collective effort to combat the deleterious influence of obesity and disease in our society. It consists of a 5k/10k run followed by an informative health expo during which the attendees can be exposed to thought provoking insights and analyses of their own personal health.

On the morning of September 8, 2013, individuals from all around the Bay Area did just that, as they enthusiastically congregated together to participate in this experience. An impressive assembly of over 170 attendees convened together with 110 of those participating in the 5k/10k as well as the Kid's Fun Run. There was nothing but smiles and feverish excitement as everyone hoarded together under the banner which designated the start of the race. It was remarkable to see the vast range of the participant demographics, from a 68 year-old ultra marathoner to 5-year old children, all joining together in solidarity for one combined effort towards better health. Familiar faces from the host churches weren't the only ones seen that day. Over 60 people from the surrounding community, compelled by curiosity and sincere interest, were present and their enjoyment of the event was contagiously tangible. “It was a really great way to reach out to people in our neighborhood, and we were able to get contact information from some for future events. Every one seemed to really enjoy themselves, I know I did!", commented Matthew, a local church member. As the groups of runners pulled into the home stretch, cheers and words of admiration were exchanged between the accomplished faces of the runners and supportive bystanders. A staggering 375 miles was the final cumulative total of all the runners' arduous achievements.

After healthfully taxing their bodies, participants of the race began to survey and engage the various health booths where certified professionals as well as willing volunteers stood eagerly waiting to provide useful tips and trusted advice to the receptive attendees. A medical doctor, chiropractor, dietitian, and professional nurses were on hand to help conduct health screenings for blood pressure, peak flow, body mass index, percent body fat, and hearing tests, as well as to provide free massages.

Not only had the participants applied healthful exertion moments prior to the expo, but now they were given the opportunity to learn tips on how to further their journey to more vibrant health.

As the event slowly faded to a conclusion, attendees expressed nothing but praise and appreciation for the valuable opportunity they had the privilege of experiencing. Natalie, one participant from the community, shared, “Let's Move Day was a well organized event with plenty of fun and educational booths of fitness and health. Each booth gave us insight on our health and lifestyle and various ways that we can improve. We definitely look forward to coming next year.”

El Cajon SDA Church - San Diego, California
Our Lets Move Day, totaled 69.5 miles. We praise God for life, and health.

Normandie Avenue and Ephesus SDA Churches - Lawndale, California
Normandie Avenue and Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist churches joined together to host the “Let’s Move Day” 5K Fun Run/Walk” event. The activities began at 8:00 a.m. with registration of participants from ages 6 to 85 years old. The group then participated in “Let’s Move” warm up exercises and stretches with a certified trainer.  “On to the course” which began and ended by the cool breezes of the lakes in Alondra Park with twist and turns around the Alondra Golf course and El Camino College.
 
They were greeted at the aid stations with cheers and cool water from volunteers and posted signs of encouragement along the route.  At the completion of the run/walk, each participant enjoyed healthy snacks and received grab bags filled with health and fitness information, “Let's Move T-Shirts" and other goodies. Everyone posed for group photos and participated in drawings for gift cards and prizes.  It was a day filled with fellowship, fun and increased awareness of childhood and adult obesity in America.  Residents of the community applauded the event and look forward to seeing us again next year.
 
We want to express our sincere appreciation to our major sponsor, Wheels of Glory Cycling Club, for their donations and support.

Summerville Community Health Club - Summerville, Georgia
The Summerville Community Health Club hosted a 5K health walk/run for Let’s Move Day at J. R. Dowdy Park. They walked around the quarter mile track 12.5 times to complete the 5K. Trail mix and water was provided for participants. About 12 people attended, including a toddler in a stroller, a 3-year old, and an elderly gentleman who attended the snacks and registration pavilion. The youngsters got some exercise on the playground as well.

Cohutta SDA Church - Cohutta, Georgia
The town of Cohutta has a lovely 1/2 mile walking track in the center of town. The Mayor asked me if I could do something to help people use the track more than they do. This seemed to be a good opportunity to kick-off our “Let’s Move” day.

So on Thursday September 19, I installed a box in the middle of the loop. And invited the people in the community to join “The Cohutta Health Club”. They could do this by filling in a card with their name and the number of laps they did around the track.(two laps equals one mile)

What a pleasant surprise when I checked the results on September 21! In the first two days of reporting, 11 people from the community had reported a total of 43 times around the track for a total of almost 22 miles. 

Conyers Church - Conyers, Georgia
Conyers Church held a 5K run/walk that started at 8:00 am and ended at the church at 10:00 am. At the end of the race, fruit and water were provided for the approximately 40 participants and an award ceremony was conducted for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in various age categories. Rockdale County police and EMS escorted the walkers/runners.

There was a "Bouncy House" at the church for the children and also on hand were a chiropractor and LA Fitness representative. The Sabbath School Department sponsored a picnic with sports activities, including volleyball and games for the children.                   

Oglethorpe SDA Church - Oglethorpe, Georgia
September 22, 2013 was the second annual Let's Move Day for the Oglethorpe GA community. It was an event where family, friends, community organizations and KIDS could come and be active. 

This year's LMD, which took place in the Oglethorpe City Park, consisted of 24 different activity stations. With Jump Rope, Shuttle Run, Soccer Kick, Basketball Shoot, and many more, the kids were able to enjoy a beautiful day of activity. As they "moved," they could also anticipate the prize drawings that took place at the end of the day. Upon arriving and registering, each child would be given a checklist of all the activities. If they completed a certain amount of activities, they would be entered for the drawing to win some great prizes. At the end of the day everyone huddled around the registration tent wondering who would take home the Basketball, Soccer Ball, Football, and the grand prize, which was two Tennis Racquets with Tennis balls. 

Lot's of fun was had by all, but perhaps the most rewarding thing of all was the amount of participation in the day. We had 24 activity stations and each of those stations were manned several volunteers. We had volunteers from six churches, and two community organizations. We also had approximately 50 kids with their parents. It was a wonderful opportunity for the churches in the community to network, come together, and share Christ in our community by showing that our body is a temple of God. 

By God's grace we look forward to next year! 

Atlanta North Hispanic SDA - Atlanta, Georgia
We held a 5K Run and Walk for adults, as well as a 1 mile run for children and their parents. Participants also enjoyed fun soccer and volleyball games for kids and adults. In total we had 106 adults and children at our Let's Move Day event.

Blairsville SDA Church - Blairsville, Georgia
On September 23rd the Blairsville Seventh-Day Adventist Church experienced the power of God at work, by using our small church in to engage Blairsville Community in a successful event: Let’s Move Day.

Over 200 people and around 70 children participated at the 9 sections of the program. From stretching and stationary bike, to parachute and jumping rope, to hurdles and shuttle run, to softball and soccer kicks, to modified sit-ups and lacrosse, the park was full of energy and excitement.
 
The Union County Commissioner, Lamar Paris, proclaimed September 23rd as the official Let’s Move Day for the entire county. Two newspaper articles announced the Proclamation, emphasizing the role of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in the North America. 

The local Young Harris College’s athletic department provided their skill and enthusiasm; students from the cheer leading squad, hardball team, and softball team, cross country runners, soccer players, basketball players, and lacrosse teams helped making the day a success. 

The Sheriff’s Explorers provided their assistance from the beginning to the very end, even to clean-up time. The Sheriff himself participated with his entire family. His wife was helping out along with the Sheriff’s explorers.
One of the favorite stations was the last one, where the local grocery store BI-LO offered free fresh and dry fruits, nuts and trail mix for every participant at the event.

Rick Robinson, the head baseball coach at Young Harris College said: “I think it should be an annual event, and I think that it will grow and grow and more people will realize what great a day for the children to come out and have a great time moving and interact with the student athletes in a beautiful Sunday afternoon.”

Kids loved the event, students loved it, organizers loved it, and we pray to have this event every year and have our community get to know Adventists more and more.

Lakeview SDA Church - Powder Springs, Georgia
On Sunday, September 29th, the Lakeview SDA Church hosted its 3rd annual Back to Health 5k & 1 mile fun run in support of the Let's Move Day initiative.

The race began at 9:00am and included a 5k Peachtree qualifying race and a 1 mile family fun run. There were 14 participants who completed the 1 mile fun run and 50 for the 5k race, totaling 169 miles completed. Approximately 50% of the racers were not members of the SDA church. Each registered racer was given a goodie bag which had items from the event sponsors and literature such as, Who Are the SDA magazine, Vibrant Life magazine, Steps to Christ book, and various health pamphlets.

In addition, the Lakeview SDA Church Health Ministry team provided a free health expo and medical screening for the community. Screenings included cholesterol testing, blood pressure, diabetes test, blood sugar, and BMI. E.W. Dempsey came and manned the Health Age booth for us. The health expo featured the eight booths for the NEWSTART program and handed out tasty vegetarian food samples. The expo also had an inflatable jumpy house for the kids.

Proceeds from the event will be going to benefit Lakeview’s Community Food Pantry, which provides meals to over 1,700 people in need and distributing over 55,000 pounds of food each quarter.

In addition to the Lakeview SDA Church sponsoring the event, we solicited sponsors from local community businesses.

Summerville Community Health Club - Summerville, Georgia
The Summerville Community Health Club hosted a 5K health walk/run for Let's Move Day.  The event was scheduled for September 24, but was postponed until the 26th because of rain.  The 5K was held at J. R. Dowdy Park in Summerville where we walked around the quarter mile track 12.5 times to complete the 5K.  Trail mix and water was provided for the participants.  The walk was attended by 12 people, including a toddler in a stroller, a 3-year old, and an elderly gentleman who attended the snacks and registration pavilion.  The youngsters got some exercise on the playground as well. 

Maranatha Adventist Fellowship - Bowie, Maryland
On Sunday September 29 2013, at 8:30 am, the 6K Walk started with both adults and children in attendance for Bowie’s Move to Create a Healthy Community and help end Childhood Obesity. Our total miles for the day were 370 miles and we were about 93 people altogether.

MAF collaborated with the Rockville Spanish Church pathfinders, other community organizations and agencies such as Maranatha Weir Group, The LDM Group, Prince George’s County Health Department, and Prince George’s Healthcare Action Coalition. Also, the City of Bowie government, and the Police Department were of great support to the smooth running of the event.

There were lots of give away and prizes but most importantly there was a healthy sense of giving and accomplishment. We thank all participants and collaborators who made this event happen. We invite you to join us next year.

Pisgah SDA Church - Bryans Road, Maryland
Greetings from Pisgah SDA Church, Bryans Road, Maryland. About 33 of us walked  or rode bikes. We played dodge ball, jump rope, etc. Approximately 8 of us walked 7 1/2 miles, others rode bicycles and walked at their pace. There was a 81 year old who walked seven and half miles. We at Pisgah offer a exercise program every Sunday, which include walking, weight lifting and aerobic exercise.

Breath of Life SDA Church - Fort Washington, Maryland
Members of the Breath of Life SDA Church in Fort Washington Maryland showed up on Let's Move Day for the "Walk Across the Bridge" event.  For the months of July and August several members have been meeting at 7:00am each Sunday morning to walk across the Woodrow Wilson Bridges (6 mile round trip) in preparation for the Let's Move Day.  On September 22nd  Let's Move Day we had a good turn out, we had our walkers, runners and our bikers, ready to take off for the "Walk Across the Bridge" event.  It turned out to be a beautiful day and a good day for fellowship and a nice healthy walk!!!!

15th Annual Vibrant Life 5K Fun Run - Hagerstown, Maryland
Sunday, September 22, dawned bright and clear. God blessed us with a gorgeous fall day for the 97 participants,  joined by their family and friends, who gathered on the sprawling acreage of the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, MD for Let's Move Day, the 15th Annual Vibrant Life 5K Fun Run. 

After local meteorologist, Chad Merrill, led the racers in a warm-up, parents and their children in friendly competition, spry seniors in their 70s and 80s, fathers pushing strollers, first-time attendees, and regulars who haven't missed a race since the first event 15 years ago—all sprang into action with the crack of the start gun. Vibrant Life editor, Heather Quintana, emceed the event along with Review and Herald designer, Ron Pride. Trophies, medals and gift bags with goodies donated from the Review and Herald were awarded to the category winners. Several community businesses also donated items/services as giveaways to the lucky winners chosen from random drawings. Younger children also got into the swing of things during a fun stretching/sing-a-long activity and received a complimentary Draw Me Healthy book for participating. Local emergency and rescue companies provided vehicles and equipment for display. Everyone was thrilled to see the Maryland State Police helicopter come in for an appearance!

The event was a great success and made front page news in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail

East Lansing University Church - East Lansing, Michigan
On September 22, our church participated in Let's Move Day by holding a 5k event. We had 24 participants and logged 81 miles. Click here to see pictures from the event.

Michigan Conference - Lansing, Michigan
On Let's Move Day 2013 we had two groups that walked from the Michigan Conference office to the capital building (about 2 miles) with our Lets Move T-shirts and hats on.

Grand Rapids Maranatha Spanish Church - Grand Rapids, Michigan
On Sunday, September 22, our group of 18 people traveled to Johnson Park for LET'S MOVE. Excited and Enthusiastic for the walk, a large portion of the group went full out. Those who were a bit more challenged worked up the rear. The fellowship was uplifting as we thought of how God had worked in people's lives in the past through trials, even in the health area. My mother, who was among those who worked up the rear, encouraged those who wanted to go back to keep pressing forward. And so they did. At the last, they found themselves a bit lost but I was able to go help them (because, you see, most of the group had taken a shortcut), and we completed the whole walk together, without shortcuts, and enjoying the flowers on the way :) Altogether it was about 3 miles. We estimated 93,000 steps for the whole group (including some more steps from earlier in the day that a few individuals reported) in that day. We would like to do it again. One last observation: Sometimes we may find ourselves challenged and following the group at a distance, to the point of getting lost, but it is at that time that God sends a guide to show us the right way, in response to our cry for help. Psalm 50:14, 15

Newtonville SDA Church - Newtonville, New Jersey
Dr. Olabody Ogidan, Health Leader, presented a seminar on diet. Preceded by a healthy fellowship meal coordinated by Sis. Tinola Cockfield, pictured right. This was proceeded the next day by a 3 mile Let's Move walk led by AEC Bay area Coordinator, Faye S. Gregory on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. After the walk, members & friends cooled down while passing out tracks to members of the public. It was interesting to note that other fitness enthusiasts joined our walk. It was a fun filled day for all.

Andrews SDA Church - Murphy, North Carolina
The Andrews Church hosted a Let's Move Day last Sunday, Sept 22, at the Andrews Recreation Park.  We had 12 stations with activities, such as baseball, basketball, volleyball, golf, Frisbee golf, a foot race, ladder toss, etc.  If they participated in all of the activities, the final station was a bounce house - strong motivation to complete the course! Around 38 children took part, which is lower than we expected for such a beautiful day, but they all seemed to have a great time in the various activities.  Parents were given a two-sided handout on childhood obesity, with ideas and resources to help them raise healthy children. Our focus was to show children and parents the simple, fun activities that are available in our area which they can enjoy as an alternative to sitting in front of a computer or television.

Andrews Church - Andrews, North Carolina
The Andrews Church hosted a Let’s Move Day at the Andrews Recreation Park. They offered 12 stations with activities, including baseball, basketball, volleyball, golf, Frisbee golf, a foot race, ladder toss, etc. If the 38 children participated in all the activities, the final station was a bounce house - motivation to complete the course. Parents were given a twosided
handout on childhood obesity, with ideas and resources to help them raise healthy children.

Grants Pass Church School - Grants Pass, Oregon
The Grants Pass Church School in Oregon got over 1000 miles on Let's Move Day, with over 140 participating. We focused our efforts on our senior population with a talk in sabbath school class on walking (EGW quotes and Hulda Crooks information). That population participated more in walking/chair aerobics/balance session. The younger population enjoyed soccer/basketball. The jumping house really appealed to the families with very young kids. We recognize our need to get a larger chamber next year! The Let's Move Day video with the young girl using a loud speaker and my powerpoint presentation at the church school really attracted that younger population. Thank you for your resources and we are looking forward to next year's program.

Sunrise SDA Church - Oregon
Our 5K walk/run on Let's Move Day had about 85 participants, many from the community.We then had a follow up program at the end of LET'S MOVE WEEK with a good health expo at our church. We concentrated in getting the community involved and we did. We had 71 attend, plus many church members and volunteers.who all went through - over a 100 total. We did blood pressures, strength tests, body composition, a 1-mile walk test for aerobic fitness, we had a lifestyle assessment, a stress and coping assessment, and a depression screening assessment, plus a nutrition exhibit and counseling, and a fitness exhibit, plus the AHA, ACS, ADA, and other helath exhibits.  Everyone was very pleased with the event. 

Next Sunday, everyone returns in the evening for a group evaluation of all the tests. Then we are following up with 6 weeks of health meetings. After than we will have a health presentation and/or dinner monthly for a year to keep incontact with each participant. We will also have a health letter we send to each person monthly and emails to invite them to other church events such as concerts which the curch does regularly. We are hoping to make them friends and to feel comfortable in our church.
 
In 3 weeks we have a baptism of two members who have been very interested in health and have come to many of our health programs in the past. We are having a post baptism dinner and celebration.

Shiloh SDA Church - North Charleston, South Carolina
Our third annual Let’s Move Day was held at the beautiful Hampton Park in historic Charleston, SC on September 22, 2013.  We began the day with prayer and devotion by Pastor Eugene Hamilton and Charmaine Cohen, Health Ministries Coordinator.

Our goal this year was to complete the 5k walk-a-thon, but everyone was able to contribute more than the required mileage.  Our top walker completed 20 miles, and the top cycler completed 8 miles.  Participants and supporters returned this year in hopes of beating their previous years’ records, as new participants attempted to set their own records.  As a result, were able to contribute 503 miles to the Adventists InStep for Life initiative, 187 of which were Pathfinder miles.

The excitement generated for this year’s event was so phenomenal that even the rain could not dampen the spirits of our participants and supporters.  This year the Health Ministries team decided to broaden its territory with an all out promotion of Let’s Move Day.  During the months leading up to the event, letters were sent to schools, recreation centers, churches, and hospitals throughout Charleston County, and as a result, participation increased by twenty five percent (25%).  In spite of a rainy day, sixty participants attended, and enjoyed running, cycling, and walking.

The Health Ministries team also shared the goals and objectives of the Adventists InStep for Life initiative with Charleston’s Mayor Joseph P. Riley, who has begun Lighten-Up Charleston, a citywide program to help fight obesity.  Once Mayor Riley learned about the Adventists InStep for Life initiative and our Let’s Move Day activities, he responded by issuing a citywide Proclamation proclaiming September 22, 2013 as Adventists InStep for Life Let’s Move Day.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota
We had 22 participants in our second annual Let's Move Day Event held at the Falls Park North in Sioux Falls, SD on September 22, 2013.  We had some Pathfinders involved as well and about half of the group rode their bikes and half walked the trails.  The most individual miles on a bike by a participant was 20 miles!  And the least was a young girl on her tricycle who went 3 miles!  We totaled 167 miles.  Our Social Committee provided fruit and water for us.   

Bowman Hills Church - Cleveland, Tennessee
Bowman Hills Church participated in Let's Move Day on Sept. 22 by inviting members to join the pastoral staff on a hike starting at the Ocoee Whitewater Center.  Due to the availability of trails with varying terrain, three hikes were formed.  One hike stayed on the handicap accessible trails surrounding the center for ease of those with a stroller.  Another hike went up Old Copper Road, and for those requiring more of a challenge, some hiked the Bear Paw Loop trail.  Fourteen hikers joined in the fun ranging in age from toddler to seniors.

N. Knoxville Church - Knoxville, Tennessee
For the past year the Knoxville First Health Ministries has maintained an active walking club, whereby we walk the different Greenways in and around the city of Knoxville for an hour. We really wanted to develop relationships with individuals in the community so we started a walking club group on meetup.com. (Our exact URL is Meetup.com/Knoxville-Area-InStep-for-Life-Walking-Club). We have approximately 100 club members (which continues to grow daily) through meetup and 99.9% are non-SDA. There are 5 core walking leaders from the Knoxville First Church who lead out in the walks and use the time to mingle with participants and develop friendships with them.

On Let's Move Day, we partnered with the N. Knoxville Church to walk the Sterchi Hills Greenway in North Knoxville. Kathy Reid, the Health & Temperance Leader at N. Knoxville Church, guided the group on the walk. A group of 10 club members participated and we walked approximately 2 miles.  Members of the N. Knoxville Church were also distributing free bottled water and Steps to Christ to people in the Tommy Schumpert Park.

Benton Seventh-day Adventist Church - Benton, Tennessee
The second annual Let’s Move! Kids Fun Day was held at the Polk County Fairgrounds on Sunday, September 22.  Children, ages 4-14, along with their parents, flooded the field behind the show barn and enjoyed a beautiful late summer day in the fresh air and sunshine, while participating in many different physical activities.  Around the open field were scattered 13 activity stations, including such things as Frisbee, hula hoop, stretching exercises, soccer, run/walk, stretch ball, 50-yard dash, grip strength testing, gardening, Kids Health through diet choices, noodle tag, and the very popular inflatable obstacle course. At the end of the course was a smoothie bike, run solely by “pedal power.”  The resulting fresh fruit smoothies, as well as other healthful snacks such as apples, granola bars, popcorn, dried fruit, and bottled water, were enjoyed by all.  Every child measured their steps during the afternoon with a pedometer that they took home with them, and after completing the course received an Olympic-style medal.  

Let’s Move! is a national initiative to encourage and teach kids to be physically active and to create new opportunities for families to move together.

Studies show that physical activity, in combination with healthful eating, is essential in helping prevent many chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, asthma, and depression.  Being physically active helps control weight, build lean muscle, promote strong bones, and develop healthy joints in children.

According to the national Active Lifestyle Challenge, kids and teens need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day to grow up to a healthy weight.  It is estimated that only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity.  On the contrary, 8 to 18-year olds spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media, such as TV, computers, cell phones, and video games.

The Let’s Move! event was free to the public and sponsored by local businesses in cooperation with Polk County Coordinated School Health and the Benton Seventh-day Adventist Church.  The goal of Let’s Move Day was to show the fun side of being active and fit by promoting exercise and better nutrition for healthier lifestyle choices—for life.  

Lenoir City SDA Church - Lenoir City, Tennessee
More than 250 kids, plus parents, volunteers and local university athletes—totaling 700-800 people—crowded a local park and greenway in Lenoir City, Tenn., to experience the fun of being active and healthy on a perfect first day of fall.

The number of kids registered for the third annual Let's Move Day exceeded last year's attendance by more than 100 children. More than 50 University of Tennessee athletes also joined the fun. Among the athletes were members of the UT men's and women's basketball teams, men's football, track and field, rowing, tennis, volleyball and the entire women's softball team, which competed in the 2013 NCAA championships.

"The whole team had such a great time participating in the 'Let's Move' Day," wrote Joanna Kerr, a member of the University of Tennessee tennis team, in an email after the event. "It was a great success and we were so glad to be a part of it."

The event itself grew to 25 activity stations featuring a variety of sports, physical activities and lifestyle choices and thousands of dollars worth of giveaways.

Partners included Fort Loudoun Medical Center, the Loudon County Health Improvement Council, the Loudon County and Lenoir City local school systems, the Lenoir City Parks and Recreation Department and a number of businesses and organizations interested in tackling the problem of childhood obesity and providing kids with a day of healthy fun. A new partner, the Knoxville Area Childhood Obesity Coalition, sponsored a bike rodeo, to which the Epilepsy Foundation and Lenoir City Schools' Family Resource Center contributed free helmets for all participants.

UT athletes helped kids try out a variety of sports including tennis, rowing, basketball and softball. The local 4-H club provided animals—including a bee hive—while a farmer distributed free tomatoes and begonia plants donated by a local nursery. Other activities included camping, hiking and fishing, an inflatable climbing tower, obstacle course, flexibility exercises, Operation Bootcamp workout, a shuttle run, disc golf, a dunking booth and gymnastics, courtesy of the Southern Adventist University Gym Masters.

"The event went GREAT!" wrote Cherry Brown, a 4-H mom and volunteer, in an email following Let's Move Day. "What an awesome turnout! I know I had at least 175 children come through my tent to taste our honey and pet the animals…. (I was shocked how many had never tasted honey—and LOVED it). Thanks so much for the invitation!  We’ll definitely do it again next year!"

In Lenoir City, approximately half of children are overweight or obese. The city also experiences a high level of poverty, with more than 90% of children on the free-and-reduced lunch program. Poverty results in a higher risk of obesity and overall poor health.

The Loudon County Health Improvement Council used Let's Move Day to launch a new obesity prevention initiative called PLAY Loudon. The task force was started earlier this year as a community-driven initiative to improve the health of local residents and is being co-chaired by the health ministries leader of the Lenoir City Adventist church.

"Let's Move Day has been such a tremendous way for our church to build relationships with the community and has been our most successful evangelism effort by far," said Lenoir City Pastor David Brass. "We are thrilled with the way God has used this event to show how much he cares about our town. We are amazed at how it continues to grow each year."

Polk County Fairgrounds - Benton, Tennessee
The second annual Let’s Move! Kids’ Fun Day was held at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Benton, TN. Fifty-two children, ages 4-14, along with their parents, flooded the field behind the show barn and enjoyed many different physical activities. Around the open field were scattered 13 activity stations, staffed by volunteers, including Frisbee, hula hoop, stretching exercises, soccer, run/walk, stretch ball, 50-yard dash, grip strength testing, gardening, Kids’ Health through diet choices, noodle tag, and the very popular inflatable obstacle course. At the end of the course was a smoothie bike, run solely by “pedal power.” The pedal power produced fresh fruit smoothies. Other healthful snacks such as apples, granola bars, popcorn, dried fruit, and bottled water were consumed. Every child measured their steps during the afternoon with a pedometer that they took home with them, and after completing the course received an Olympic-style medal.

The Let’s Move! event was free to the public and sponsored by local businesses in cooperation with Polk County Coordinated School Health and the Benton Seventh-day Adventist Church. The goal of Let’s Move Day was to show the fun side of being active and fit by promoting exercise and better nutrition for healthier lifestyle choices—for life.

Bowman Hills Church - Cleveland, Tennessee
The Bowman Hills Church invited members to join the pastoral staff on a hike starting at the Ocoee Whitewater Center. Three hikes were formed. One hike stayed on the handicap accessible trails surrounding the center for ease of those with a stroller. Another hike went up Old Copper Road, and for those requiring more of a challenge, Bear Paw Loop trail was their choice. Fourteen hikers joined in the fun ranging in age from toddler to seniors.

Dunlap Church - Dunlap, Tennessee
The Dunlap Church and Hispanic Mission Group held a joint event at the Community Hall. About 35 to 40 people took part in health tests including blood pressure, glucose tolerance, cholesterol, lung capacity, massage therapy, and education regarding the eight natural remedies.

Graysville Church - Graysville Tennessee
The Graysville Church held a 5K fun run, and a race that was approximately 80 meters long. Prizes were given for three different categories. First, second, and third places for 5K fun-run, 80M dash, and most distance. A total of five people achieved at least the 5K goal and altogether eleven people participated in the event.

Greeneville Church - Greeneville, Tennessee
Greeneville, TN -This is the third year of Let’s Move for the Greeneville Church. They rented the Middle School track and met there for the event. About 45 participants braved the early morning fog to get out and walk the track and fellowship together. The participants have recorded about 158 miles with more miles being logged by people who walked at home and couldn’t make it to the track. The event was planned by Bob Kamieneski.

Knoxville First Church - Knoxville, Tennessee
As a way of inviting more community members to walk, the Knoxville First Church started a walking club group on meetup.com. (Meetup.com/Knoxville-Area-InStep-for7 Life-Walking-Club). People responded and now there are approximately 100 club walking members led by five church members. On Let's Move Day, the Knoxville First Church partnered with the North Knoxville Church to walk the Sterchi Hills Greenway. Kathy Reid, Health Ministries Leader at North Knoxville, guided the walk. Ten club members participated and everyone walked two miles. North Knoxville members also distributed free bottled water and Steps to Christ at the Tommy Schumpert Park.

Lenoir City Seventh-day Adventist Church - Lenoir City, Tennessee
More than 250 kids, plus parents, volunteers and local university athletes—totaling 700-800 people—crowded a local park and greenway in Lenoir City, TN to experience the fun of being active. The third annual Let's Move Day event expanded with 25 activitystations featuring a variety of sports, physical activities and lifestyle choices; thousands of dollars’ worth of giveaways—including a $1,500 playground set, eight free bicycles, and free bicycle helmets. More than 50 University of Tennessee athletes participated. Among the athletes was the entire women's softball team, which recently competed in the NCAA championships.

Sponsors for the event included Fort Loudoun Medical Center, the Loudon County Health Improvement Council, the Loudon County and Lenoir City local school systems, the Lenoir City Parks and Recreation Department, and a number of businesses and organizations interested in tackling the problem of childhood obesity and providing kids with a day of healthy fun.

A new partner, the Knoxville Area Childhood Obesity Coalition, sponsored a bike rodeo, to which the Epilepsy Foundation and Lenoir City Schools' Family Resource Center contributed free helmets for participants. UT athletes helped kids try out a variety of sports including tennis, rowing, basketball, and softball. The local 4-H club provided animals—including a beehive—while a farmer distributed free tomatoes and begonia plants donated by a local nursery. Other activities included camping, hiking and fishing, an inflatable climbing tower, obstacle course, flexibility exercises, Operation Boot Camp workout, a shuttle run—with UT track and field stars helping time children and cheer them on—as well as disc golf, a dunking booth, and gymnastics, courtesy of the Southern Adventist University Gym Masters. The Loudon County Health Improvement Council used the event to help it launch a new obesity prevention initiative called PLAY Loudon. The task force was started earlier this year as a community-driven initiative to improve the health of local residents and is being co-chaired by Larisa Brass, Health Ministries Leader of the Lenoir City Seventh-day Adventist Church.

El Paso on the Move - El Paso, Texas
El Paso on the Move joins “Let’s Move Day” again by sponsoring its 2nd annual 5Krun/walk at Mckelligon Canyon.  On packet pickup day, a Health Fair was done at El Paso Central English Church.  Health magazines were placed in their packets.  Speakers from the community were invited to speak on different topics on the hour every hour. One of the speakers came to church the following Sabbath. A total of 27 organizations joined the Health Fair which concluded with a vegetarian cooking class.  

Almost 400 registered as participants for the run.  The Canyon was dotted with red shirts as the runners and walkers went up and down the canyon.  The Canyon is a challenging course.   First 300 5 k runners/walkers received the much coveted Mckelligon Canyon medal at the finish line.  Shouts of joy were heard as the cheerleaders cheered the runners/walkers to victory.

Further down the finish line, they were served healthy breakfast.  There was watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, trail mix, water, orange juice, yogurt, granola bars and chocolate milk.  Everyone enjoyed the songs and folk dances as they sat under shades of trees.  It was a lovely sight to see people amidst nature and interacting with each other.  
El Paso on the Move is a community outreach in collaboration with the church to bring the awareness of obesity epidemic in the community.  Last year’s proceeds from the run went to establishing a Community Garden at El Paso Adventist Junior Academy and sponsoring four Pathfinders Groups.  This year’s proceeds are earmarked for Community Gardens and Health Promotional Activities.

Cedars of Lebanon Church - Chesapeake, Virginia
It rained in our location so we hosted a group fitness class in doors. We had 24 members in attendance and walked 34,000 steps in total, approximately 16 miles. We burned approximately 2400 calories as a group. Our focus was to "get moving" and we did just that!

Shenandoah Valley Adventist Elementary - New Market, Virginia
For Let's Move Day on September 22, 2013 our school, Shenandoah Valley Adventist Elementary, did a triathlon.  We had over 250 people in attendance.  In addition to participating in the triathlon, students and guests had the opportunity to walk, run,swim, or bike to accumulate miles.  We accumulated a total of 1,115.5 miles. 

Patterson Avenue SDA Church - Richmond, Virginia
The second annual Adventists InStep for Life 5K Run/Walk-a-thon at Patterson Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church definitely got off on the right foot. September 22 dawned bright and clear with a crisp fall chill in the air. Almost 400 participants from the surrounding community and six Richmond-area churches donned Let's Move Day T-shirts and stretched their muscles together by the starting line. Grouped according to running speed, individuals participated in either a 2K or 5K run/walk. After the opening prayer, given by Pastor Bob Banks, the run began.

Dr. Livia Forbes, Patterson’s Health Ministries Director, and organizer of the day’s event, assembled a large group of volunteers to staff the various activities. Preparation for the event actually began with 40 days of prayer by volunteers asking for God’s guidance and blessing on this endeavor. 

On the day of the run, foot massages were offered at the finish line and the book Steps to Christ was distributed to community members, along with a list of addresses for local Adventist churches. Inside the Richmond Academy gymnasium, multiple stations were set up where health age testing, healthy recipes, free devotional books, and a beautiful array of healthy fruits, breads and spreads were offered. Participants enjoyed the delicious food while viewing photos of themselves taken during the race and visiting the various stations. At the conclusion, there was a drawing for gift bags containing Let’s Move Day hats, healthy recipe cookbooks, and gift cards to local health food stores.

Participants left the event feeling physically and spiritually invigorated. Everyone involved is eagerly looking forward to next year's Let's Move Day!

North Pacific Union Conference - Ridgefield, Washington
On Monday, September 23, 2013, the office staff of the North Pacific Union Conference participated in the Let’s Move Day event by taking their lunch hour and walking/jogging from Noon until 1:00 p.m.  There were 25 participants who walked/jogged a total of 77 miles.  This was the second year in a row that the staff participated in this event and everyone had a great time of exercise and fellowship.

Ebenezer SDA Church - Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
On Sunday Sept 22, 2013, Ebenezer SDA church in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada , joined up with The Multiple Myeloma March to commemorate "Lets Move Day." It was a beautiful Sunday, members from our church ( small congregation ) met at Lake Aquitaine Park. Meadowvale Community Centre, 6655 Glen Erin Drive , Mississauga to join with members from the community for the 5k walk. We distributed approximately 100 Life Matters Magazines / Signs of the Times, entitled: Loose Weight, Feel Great, and Living Longer and Feeling Better. In addition participants  received bags emblazoned with Ontario Conference Of Seventh Day Adventists.

Crawford Adventist Academy - North York, Ontario, Canada
Crawford Adventist Academy JK-8 Let’s Move Day event for posting on the NAD website.  On Friday, September 20, 2013, our administration, faculty, staff, parents and students participated in a group warm-up then a 5K or 10K walk.  It was a pleasure to have Maria McClean, Director, Health & Children’s Ministries, ON Conference on campus ‘moving’ with us. 

Ontario Conference - Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
To celebrate Let's Move Day, 2013 at the Ontario Conference office, Tiffany Campbell-Dailey, a personal trainer, was invited to lead the staff in fitness sessions. This activity and similar fitness events organised in Adventist offices, churches and schools across Ontario were aimed at encouraging as many people as possible to commit to being involved in regular physical activity, creating global awareness regarding childhood obesity and generally promoting a healthier lifestyle.  

Berea SDA Church - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
For the third year Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church participated in the Lets Move day initiative. On Sunday September 22, 2013, 49 participants who ranged in age from 3yrs to 70yrs, gathered at the corner of Sherbourne Street and Ancroft place to begin the two mile walk through the community of Cabbage town and Regent Park in downtown Toronto.

At 10:30 am it was cloudy and 14 degree Celsius but participants stood in reverence as prayer was offered by Pastor C.N. Leader. At the end of the prayer the large banner which displayed the Lets Move logo was raised along with several other posters which displayed healthy suggestions toward the fight against childhood obesity.

The participants goal was to bring awareness to the growing problems of childhood obesity and all it long-term effects on the individual and community. Their message was clearly heard and visible as the participants marched through the streets chanting “let’s move” “why?” “To end obesity” while holding up the banner and their posters which encourage the community to choose fruits and vegetable, drink water and participate in physical activities.

The participants were encouraged on their march by spectators along their route Including cyclists, bus/streetcar drivers and their patrons and those in cars who honked and cheered as they received the message from the participants’ chants. The marchers also took time out at various areas to speak with passersby along the way. By the end of the two hour walk the sun was shining bright and so was the spirit of all the participants.

It was a fulfilling experience for all who participated and they look forward to be on the move again next year. God be praised.

Sponsoring Organizations
Seventh-day Adventist ChurchHope ChannelAdventist HealthCareAdventist HealthAdventist Health SystemKettering Health NetworkLoma Linda University - Health System
NAD Health MinistriesNAD Youth Pathfinder Adventurer CampAdventist Family MinistriesAdventist Chaplaincy MinistriesAdventist Education
Children's MinistriesNAD Disabilities MinistriesAdventist Community ServicesNAD Women's MinistriesNAD Ministerial Department
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