On your mark ...

On your mark ...

North Side Health Advisory Committee members last week went over final preparations for the biggest event in the panel's nearly one-year existence.

Get set ...

The Northland Community Walk to the Y, which has been in the planning stages since late May, will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2. With Dawn Patterson, chairwoman of the committee in charge of the event, away on vacation, advisory committee members discussed some last-minute details at the monthly meeting

They hope you'll go.

"I don't know if we're going to have 50 walkers or 300 walkers," committee co-chair Sandy LaFollette admitted. "We're hoping to get the community involved. Three hundred is our goal."

The event is intended to get residents of the Northland area to form walking groups — in neighborhoods, among civic associations, within church congregations — to all converge on the North YMCA, 1640 Sandalwood Place off Karl Road.

"The goal is to get to the Y at noon," LaFollette said last week.

Whether it's 50 or 300 people who arrive around that time, they will be greeted by the Northland High School Marching Band as well as local elected officials and community leaders.

They will then be able to attend what's shaping up as a fairly major health fair in the gymnasium of the North YMCA.

The North Y's Service Club will be holding a "media fair" selling used books, CDs and DVDs in a portion of the gym from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that same day.

Among the confirmed Health Fair vendors discussed at last week's North Side Health Advisory Committee gathering were the Columbus Division of Fire "Safe House" team; the Central Ohio Diabetes Association offering screenings; Northland Chiropractic Center providing evaluations and information on weight loss programs; an eight-station series of health screenings by the Columbus African Seventh-Day Adventist Church; Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center free clinic; Upidi Café', a vegetarian restaurant; Neighborhood Pride program director Bruce T. Black putting on a spinning class; Lend-a-Hand Charities; Columbus Public Health; Northland Community Council; free products from Abbott Nutrition where LaFollette works; chair massages; and a demonstration on container gardening by Job Ebenezer of Westerville.

At the suggestion of NCC president Dave Paul, the Senior Services Roundtable, which was founded by former longtime Northland resident and onetime city councilwoman Fran Ryan, will be invited to have a table at the fair.

"I think that would be a great addition," LaFollette said.

Plans to have the NHS band march from the school to the Y were scotched due to the expense of obtaining a parade permit, according to Mathew S. Baldwin, the Columbus Public Health management analyst who serves as the facilitator for the advisory committee. The permit itself was $150, but hiring special-duty police officers and the services of a cruiser pushed that figure to around $800, he said.

So many groups, organizations and businesses have expressed interest in participating in the fair, committee members are uncertain if they'll have a place for all of them to set up.

"If people could bring tables, that would be great," LaFollette said.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library and Helping Hands will be providing 10 tables each, while Cooper State Bank is donating balloons, Dave Cooper of the Ink Well on East Dublin Granville Road will be creating a banner for the event and Yogi's Hoagies will serve lunch to the eight firefighters with the Safe House.

Committee members are placing few restrictions on participants.

"Just something that makes sense in a health orientation," co-chairman Scott Dowling said.

"It will be nice to have a variety of services there," added LaFollette. "I think they all have a place, and we can probably all learn a lot."

The rest is up to the will of Northland area residents to put on their walking shoes and make tracks to the Y.

Oh, and to Mother Nature, as well.

"Let's hope the weather is nice, too," Dowling said.

"It's going to be a rain-or-shine event," LaFollette said.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

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If all Northland Walk to the Y participants started out from their homes on Saturday, Oct. 2, some would have to do a lot more walking than others.

North Side Health Advisory Committee members who are planning the major event to encourage more physical fitness among local residents have come up with several locations more within walking distance of the North YMCA which groups and individuals may use as starting points.

The goal of those planning the Walk to the Y is to have all participants arrive as close to noon as possible.

The locations include:

• Epworth United Methodist Church, 5100 Karl Road, a half-mile from the YMCA. Those choosing this location should meet there are 11:45 a.m.

• Columbus Baptist Temple, 5075 Cleveland Ave., two miles from the Y. Those choosing the church should be there at 11:20 a.m.

• St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 6077 Sharon Woods Blvd., one and a half miles from the Y. 11:30 a.m.

• St. Francis DeSales High School, 4212 Karl Road, also one and a half miles away, and also 11:30 a.m.

• Sequoia Pro Bowl, 5501 Sandalwood Blvd., a half-mile.

• Northland High School, 1919 Northcliff Drive, three quarters of a mile.