Sorority's 'Kids Walk Fit' set for Saturday
Published: March 6, 2013
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ST. CROIX - For the second time, the St. Croix chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority will host "Kids Walk Fit," which this year is part of the sorority's annual "IMPACT Day of Service" project.
Sorority Vice President Desiree Illidge said the group will host the 1.3-mile walk Saturday from the old Nissan parking lot in La Grande Princesse heading east through the residential area and back to the parking lot. The gathering and warm-up session will take place at 9 a.m., and the walk begins at 10 a.m.
Illidge said IMPACT Day is observed annually on the second Saturday in March by more than 900 Delta Sigma Theta chapters. IMPACT stands for "Inspiring and Mobilizing Public Service Advocates for Community Transformations."
Brenda Benjamin, sorority president, said this year's theme is "A Journey to Wellness," which emphasizes fighting obesity and is part of a special focus by the sorority's national chapter in Washington, D.C., stressing physical and mental health. The effort capitalizes on the momentum of first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Campaign" to combat childhood obesity.
"Childhood obesity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is considered a health problem because it may lead to diabetes, heart disease, asthma, sleep apnea and even social discrimination," Benjamin said. "Obese children and teens can experience immediate health consequences and may be at risk for weight-related health problems as adults."
Illidge said that 1.3 miles is the shortest distance that participants can walk but that those who wish to walk farther, can do so.
"We will do the walk, but anyone who wants to loop it two or even three times can do so and increase their physical activity," she said.
During the walk Saturday, Delta Sigma Theta sorority members are planning to wear red sneakers in support of the "Red Pump Project," an event that coincides with National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, commemorated annually on March 10, by the Office of Women's Health. The day encourages people to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS and to raise awareness of its impact on women and girls.
Once the group returns to the parking lot, children can participate in Zumba workouts and handouts about obesity prevention, healthy lifestyles and exercise will be distributed.
"We really want this to be a community and family-based event and encourage parents to bring their children and let this be the first step to a healthier lifestyle," Illidge said.
She said the organization has been serving communities for 100 years, and its members look forward to a second centennial of service.
"We want to continue to make an impact in the St. Croix community on IMPACT Day and every day," she said. "Last years's 'Kids Walk Fit' was a success, reaching more than 100 participants, and this year we expect an even bigger turn-out."
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.