Although the members of the North Side Health Advisory Committee devoted a considerable amount of time at last week's monthly meeting to discussions about a proposed major community walk in October, they concluded much more will be needed.

Although the members of the North Side Health Advisory Committee devoted a considerable amount of time at last week's monthly meeting to discussions about a proposed major community walk in October, they concluded much more will be needed.

The members of the committee decided to break with tradition and not have a guest speaker at the next meeting, set for Thursday, July 22, at 6 p.m. in the Strategic Response Bureau, 1120 Morse road.

"The good thing is we have some time," said Sandy LaFollette, one of three co-chairs of the advisory group.

On the other hand, what the members of a subcommittee have decided to now call the "Northland Community Walk to the Y" on Saturday, Oct. 2, is intended as a major, major event with a goal of getting walking teams from civic associations, churches, senior citizen groups and a host of others to converge at noon that day on the North YMCA where a health and wellness fair will take place.

At last week's meeting, discussions focused on setting parameters for deciding how to go about extending invitations to participate in the health and wellness event that will follow the walk.

Mathew S. Baldwin, the Columbus Public Health management analyst who serves as the facilitator for the advisory committee, suggested the event be open to pretty much anything have to do with health and wellness.

"I thing we ought to keep a very open mind about who we invite," he said.

"This is still in the infancy stages," cautioned co-chair Scott Dowling. "We don't have right now a limit as to who can participate. The more the merrier."

Baldwin described the entire event as an "exercise in community building."

According to Dowling, YMCA officials are firmly behind not only serving as the host site for the Oct. 2 gathering but also are hoping to perhaps duplicate it elsewhere.

LaFollette suggested that the walk could become an annual event if organizers "put on a grand show" with this inaugural one.

"Job number one is going to be getting the word out in the community," Dowling said.

He added that while it's prudent to begin making plans well in advance of the actual event, setting too many details in cement at this point would not be wise.

Kevin Parks