In partnership with the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention, Mayor Ruben Pineda will host West Chicago’s second annual Move with the Mayor Challenge walk. Mayor Pineda will join local residents and school children on a 30-minute walk to fight the nation’s leading cause of death — heart disease.
Mayor Pineda, school children, and other West Chicago residents (all are invited!) Youth who participate in 3 out of 4 Move with the Mayor walks in the month of September will be eligible for a random drawing to win a free bicycle and helmet at the World Heart Day Celebration on Friday, September 29, 2017. (The winner must be present at the Celebration to receive their prize.)
Saturday, September 16, 2017 – 8:30 a.m. Registration, Warm-ups & Stretching with Jessi Bass of Rhythm N Motion/ 9:00 a.m. Walk
The event will begin and end at St. Michael’s Church, 108 Sherman Street (an interactive map of this route may be found at www.westchicago.org under Maps.)
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in our nation. Yet surveys show many people are unaware that heart disease kills more people than all types of cancer combined. “Too many people don’t realize that heart disease is America’s No. 1 cause of death,” said John Clymer, executive director of the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention. “It’s a silent epidemic that is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. But this doesn’t have to happen. Deaths from heart disease are preventable. That’s why we’re trying to spread the word and get people moving.”
Research has found walking as little as 30 minutes a day can significantly cut the risk of heart disease. The walk is part of a campaign developed by the City and the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention to encourage residents to walk with the Mayor for 30 minutes every Saturday from now until World Heart Day, September 29, 2017.
Show West Chicago spirit by tracking steps or other activities that get you moving all month on the online Activity Tracker found on the City’s website under Special Events/Move with the Mayor. Results will be tallied for the 11 participating cities across the country and the National Forum will announce the winning community on World Heart Day, September 29, 2017.
Those also contributing to the event include: Healthy West Chicago, Community School District 33, the American Heart Association, Kindred Coffee, Republic Bank, the West Chicago Park District, Supermercado Tampico, Northwestern Medicine, WeGo Together for Kids, the Bass Family, and People Made Visible.
Information on all of September’s weekly walks may be found here.
About the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention
The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention brings together the most dynamic and diverse organizations in cardiovascular health, providing a forum and outlet for organizations to amplify their voices. Our members currently represent more than 80 national and international organizations from the public and private healthcare organizations, as well as faith, advocacy, academic, and policy settings. The National Forum is a tax-exempt, independent non-profit, 501(c)(3), voluntary health organization.
West Chicago’s Viva Mexico Independence Day Festival, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 16 & 17, 2017, is fast approaching and the lineup of exciting attractions continues to grow. Due to the scope of this multi-faceted celebration, organizers turned the single-day event into a two-day event last year and were successful in attracting crowds both days. The Festival is presented by the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage, with funding from the City of West Chicago.
The event is staged in the heart of the community’s downtown along Main Street, and promises an authentic experience of West Chicago’s Mexican heritage through music, dance, costumes, food and much more.
Mariachi Aztlan from the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley and Others
One of the biggest highlights this year will be a night of live music performed by the leading educational mariachi programs from across the country and Mexico. This spectacular multi-Mariachi concert takes place on Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m., and will feature groups from middle school programs to top level university ensembles.
Mariachi Aztlan from the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley, one of the premier collegiate mariachi programs in the country, will be joined by a very special guest from the University of Veracruz Mexico, Maestro Ivan Velasco who is a Harp Specialist. The concert program for the evening also includes Mariachi Herencia de Mexico, which is quickly becoming one of the top youth mariachi ensembles in the country, featuring a group of Chicago Public School students from the city’s immigrant barrios; C.O.D.A., a violin-only ensemble composed of regional middle school students; and West Chicago’s very own Mariachi los Rayos de Leman Middle School.
By collaborating with West Chicago’s Community School District 33 Mariachi Program, the DuPage Mexican Cultural Center has a unique opportunity to accomplish its mission to encourage and promote Mexican heritage through cultural, ethnic and civic activities designed to educate the Mexican-American community and the community at large. “This reflects what West Chicago is today, rich and full of Mexican culture and tradition. Our students will get exclusive access to working with the visiting groups, and also take part in the performances as well”, said Fernando Ramirez, President and Founder of the Mexican Cultural Center DuPage.
El Grito de la Independencia
Another centerpiece of the Viva Mexico Independence Day Festival is the reenactment of El Grito de la Independencia or The Cry of Independence. El Grito originally took place on the morning of September 16, 1810, when Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo from the small town of Dolores in the state of Guanajuato Mexico began ringing church bells to signal that Mexican Patriots had freed Pro-Independence inmates from jail, beginning the revolt against the Spanish rule of Mexico. This was the start of the Mexican War of Independence.
Today in West Chicago, the spirited reenactment of El Grito includes the ringing of a an old train bell acquired at Koehles’s Trading Post in the early sixties by the late Lorenzo Covarrubias of West Chicago, who was known as the “Patron de la Campana” (Patron of the Bell). Mr. Covarrubias came to the United States from Mexico in 1949 bringing his family in 1955 and settling in West Chicago in 1957. The bell is on loan to the City for use in this annual celebration of independence and freedom. El Grito will take place on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.
A 13’ Piñata
Returning this year in a huge way will be a 13’ burro (donkey) piñata created by West Chicago resident Victor Arellano. It was built to attract the community and its neighbors to the Viva Mexico Independence Day
Festival to celebrate a significant piece of Mexican heritage. The burro (donkey) was chosen because it’s a traditional Mexican icon during the Christmas holiday. It represents “Las Posadas”, where children re-create the voyage Mary & Joseph took while searching for an inn riding a “burro”.
Those who attended the event last year will remember the thrill of seeing the piñata hoisted up by crane approximately 30’ feet in the air, followed by a countdown to the release of many pounds of candies and treats for the kids in attendance by Mayor Ruben Pineda. The excitement was captured on video by Alderman Melissa Birch Ferguson who had a front row view.
For a complete schedule of West Chicago’s Viva Mexico Independence Day Festival, click here.