The momentum for community walking/movement in West Chicago through a formal program, Move with the Mayor (MWTM), sponsored by the National Forum for Stroke and Heart Disease Prevention in the month of September, was celebrated in a big way during the City’s observance of World Heart Day on September 29, 2017.
As 200 residents gathered at Gary School to enjoy mingling with friends, neighbors and community, and sharing their collective success in accomplishing a staggering number of steps counted over the four-week period in September, the evening delivered many exciting moments.
Following a healthy meal provided by generous community businesses including Hawthorne’s Backyard, Augustino’s Rock and Roll Deli and Grill, Pal Joey’s and El Coco Loco Mexican Restaurant, the main program included guest speakers and recognition of the many community volunteers, City and School officials, and Healthy West Chicago partners that worked together to accomplish West Chicago’s success in MWTM.
Over 500 walkers had joined the September walks, with more than half that number being children. Recognizing that healthy habits for life begin early, the number of children participating in MWTM was particularly significant, and was celebrated. West Chicago registered a grand total of over 10-million steps towards better health.
Also adding to the excitement were drawings for free prizes, including 12 new bicycles to encourage continued movement. The bicycles came equipped with helmets donated by Northwestern Medicine and locks donated by the West Chicago Police Department. The names of the winning recipients were drawn from the pool of those who attended three out of four of the September walks and had their walking passports validated the day of each walk.
“This is not the kind of success that stops here,” said Mayor Ruben Pineda. “We will continue with 30-minute walks every Saturday through the fall, in a local effort led by Healthy West Chicago called Keep Moving West Chicago.”
“When the weather becomes inclement, the plan is to move the walks indoors, and we will announce those indoor locations when they are finalized”, said Alderman Lori Chassee who serves as the Chairman of the Healthy West Chicago Executive Committee. “We are determined to Keep Moving West Chicago and to keep our momentum for health going strong.”
Residents can refer to the City’s Community Calendar which may be accessed from the homepage of www.westchicago.org or the Healthy West Chicago Facebook page, www.facebook.com/healthywestchicago for all the details.
Mayor Pineda will also continue to encourage participation in his Team Pineda 5k walks on Sundays, starting at 9:00 a.m. sharp. Information on specific dates and locations may be found on the City’s Community Calendar (www.westchicago.org), or at www.facebook.com/teampineda.