Northland News

North Side Let's Move promotion will be held on Brookhaven High School campus

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Let's Move is moving ahead.

Plans for a major family fitness event in the fall were discussed at last week's North Side Health Advisory Committee meeting. The goal of the project is to get members of all four advisory panels, including the East, West and South sides, to sponsor gatherings Sept. 21 that would include health screenings, activities for children and other approaches toward getting people to be more active as a family.

Columbus Public Health officials established the committees to enable volunteers to identify and work on specific issues within the neighborhoods around their points on the compass. This would be the first joint project of all four.

The Rev. Kwesi Gyimah of the Columbus All Nations Seventh-Day Adventist Church, who is adapting Let's Move, Columbus from a concept staged by faith groups in Indianapolis last September, said Columbus City Schools officials have granted permission for the North Side event to be held on the campus of Brookhaven High School, which he called "good news."

"The principal is strongly behind it," said Sandy LaFollette, co-chairwoman of the North Side Health Advisory Committee.

The venues for the other three Let's Move sites have not yet been set, according to Gyimah. He added that he and others on the North Side panel have offered to assist their counterparts in settling on appropriate locations.

A website, letsmovecolumbus.org, should go live this week, even if the locations for three of the four gatherings have to be left blank, he said.

Let's Move, Columbus, was originally scheduled to get under way at 10 a.m., but Gyimah said last week the starting time has been adjusted to 1 p.m. so families may participate after Sunday worship services.

"It's going to be one of the biggest, boldest initiatives in the city," Gyimah said.

Let's Move, Indianapolis, which was staged Sept. 23 in response to First Lady Michelle Obama's call for concerted efforts to deal with the epidemic of childhood obesity, took place at one location, and that was the initial plan for the Columbus version. However, Gyimah said, he and other organizers decided to tackle the more ambitious task of having the fitness-promotion effort take place at four locations simultaneously.

"Our goal is to encourage as many families as possible to show up and be part of the event," he said.

The Let's Move, Columbus events will be free to participants, but Gyimah said it will cost organizers roughly $10 to provide services and information to just one family of four. He added that he's hoping the local faith-based community and various sponsors would help defray these expenses.

Gyimah said he met last week with pastors from the Northland area, "and all are on board."

"It's picking up some steam," he said.

"Sept. 21 sounds like a long way away, but it's really not," said Scott Dowling, the committee's other co-chairman. "If you want to get word out, it's good to get started as early as possible."

"At the end of the day, each health advisory is going to tailor this based on the needs of the community," Gyimah said.

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