Families crowded Laurel Park to promote healthy lifestyles Saturday morning as part of the 26th annual Healthy Kids Day, organized by the YMCA and the Hall County school system.
Amy Kienle, CEO of the YMCA, estimated that they had more than 1,000 people show up from 9 a.m. to noon.
The event began as an end-of-school celebratory 5K run for Hall County schools’ running teams five years ago. Seeing that the school system and the YMCA had the same goals in promoting healthy lifestyles, the two organizations have partnered on the event for the past two years.
“Hall County School system is trying to promote healthy living, which of course is a primary focus of the YMCA as well, so it makes great sense that we partner on days like today,” Kienle said.
Healthy Kids Day was packed with healthy, family-friendly activities such as a rock wall, a bounce castle, a Zumba demo, arts and crafts, face-painting, an obstacle course and the 5K run.
“I love watching the little kids run, that’s really fun,” Kienle said . “And then the rock wall and the face-painting are the two big things for the kids, they really enjoy that. But then we also had some community vendors out as well just talking about how they work with community members, kids and families on how to be healthy, too.”
Treyson England, a student and member of the running club at C.W. Davis Middle School, ran in Saturday morning’s 5K race.
“It was tiring,” said England. “I wanted to stop, but I just kept going because as soon as I finish, I get to stop running.”
England, who attended the event with his mom, Leah England, and brother, Caden England, said he also took part in the raffle.
June Benton and her grandson, Ethan, 5, went to Healthy Kids Day because Benton’s husband works for the YMCA.
“I liked getting one of these,” Ethan said, holding a red Kona Ice as he talked about his favorite part of Saturday. “And climbing the rock wall.”
“We did the obstacle course and we did the rock wall; we did some of everything,” said Benton. “It was wonderful, a beautiful day.”