Vegas PBS 5K: Family Fun and Fitness Beyond the Strip
By: Monique Gaudin
The Third Annual Vegas PBS 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk on October 6, 2012 proved to be a healthy outing, and family fun for all, complete with Elmo, hula-hooping, line dancing, and a marriage proposal in front of a cheering race crowd.
And, according to race-organizer, Jessica Carroll “the third one” was “a charm.“
Carroll, the Ready to Learn Coordinator at Vegas PBS said that they had “the opportunity to provide sponsorships to approximately 200 children and families who participate in the Afterschool All Stars program” to be a part of the morning’s activities.
Afterschool All stars, Carroll explained, “is an after school program that provides enrichment for kids to keep them busy and actively engaged when school is out.”
Mr. Lee Solonche added; “Our program Keeping Kids Fit was designed with at risk kids in mind. We use this event, to promotes keeping kids fit, and as important as the 5K is, the real battle is childhood obesity. The most at risk kids, in terms of childhood obesity, are Latino and African American children, and we wanted to make sure that children who might not ordinarily have the opportunity to participate in an event like the 5K had that.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and a report from the National Center for Health Statistics, obesity effects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States. That’s triple the rate from one generation ago.
In the 2007-2008 findings, the prevalence of obesity was significantly higher among Mexican-American adolescent boys (26.8 percent) and among non-Hispanic black adolescent girls (29.2 percent). And HealthyPeople.gov reports; “Today, approximately one in three adults (34 percent) and one in six children and adolescents (16.2 percent) are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, which are among the leading causes of death.”
With such dire statistics on the books, it was encouraging participating in such an enthusiastic community crowd, from babies in strollers to seniors using walkers. In echoing Mr. Solonches estimation of Vegas PBS’ role as a community convener, “to provide, what I call the big megaphone of media, digital media, social media and working with other organizations to get the word out, in a way that really, it’s a unique role for us, and it brings us a lot of joy and pleasure, to be able to assist the community and maybe get some synergies together, that would not ordinarily occur. “
Drew Brees, NFL New Orleans Saints quarterback and co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, stated in a fitness.gov PSA “Physical activity can help in the most important game of all, life.” Today, on the side streets of Vegas, beyond the adult playground of the Stripe, thanks to the efforts of Vegas PBS and a host of volunteers and sponsors bringing a community together, “life” in deed is exactly what appeared to be happening.