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Olympic Gold Medalist Esther Lofgren to Appear at Madison Area YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day April 26

Friday, April 18, 2014 • 3:06pm

Olympic Gold Medalist and Quest Diagnostics Community Wellness Ambassador Esther Lofgren to speak and join children in physical activities

The Madison Area YMCA is celebrating YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being, on Saturday, April 26, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Madison-based Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, will join the Y for this free community event and provide vouchers for a free wellness screening. 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist for women’s rowing and Quest Diagnostics Community Wellness Ambassador Esther Lofgren will speak to families about leadership and healthy lifestyles, engage children in Zumba and other activities and be available for Gold Medal photos with parents and children.

Healthy Kids Day will feature activities to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home. The event will take place on the fields and grounds of the Madison Area YMCA’s Family Center, 111 Kings Road in Madison. The focus this year is Build A Happier, Healthier Kid based on the incredible potential in every child. More than 150 children along with their family members are expected to attend the event, which focuses on physical activity, nutrition, safety and fun! Madison Mayor and Vice President of Operations for the Madison Area YMCA, Bob Conley, will help kick off the 1:30pm events which feature Kids Fun Run races including Tiny Toddler Trot: 25 yds (walking - 2 yrs old); Big Kids, Little Run: 50 yds (3 - 5 yrs old); and Kid’s Dash: 100 yds (6+). All race participants will receive a completion medal. The day also features healthy snacks, crafts, washable tattoos and face painting.

Adult participants will be offered a voucher for a free Blueprint for Wellness® screening, a health and wellness service offered exclusively through Quest Diagnostics. Blueprint for Wellness provides a personalized report that helps individuals identify their risks for several preventable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, based on results of clinical laboratory testing and blood pressure and other biometric readings.  

Additionally, through the generosity of Madison resident Carmine Toto and his family, guests will have the opportunity to see a 1953 Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge Estate dump truck, a Military Transport Association antique military vehicle circa World War II and a West Jersey High Railers Model Railroad Club display located in an original 1928 Delaware Lackawanna Railroad baggage car that houses 1,000 feet of model trains.

Summer is the time for kids to get up, get out and grow; but, for some kids, exposure to activities that stimulate the body and mind ends with the school year. YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at more than 1,500 Ys across the country, aims to get more kids moving and learning, so they can keep up the habit all summer long – a critical out-of-school time for kids’ health. Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically. According to the American Journal of Health, kids also gain weight two to three times faster during the summer months.

As part of the Y’s commitment to addressing critical gaps in health and education, the Madison Area YMCA is kicking off efforts that encourage kids to stay physically and intellectually active during the summer. Helping bring families and kids together to have fun, be active, learn more and create lasting, healthy habits for the entire family, Healthy Kids Day is just one more way the Y works to strengthen community.

For more information about Healthy Kids Day or to volunteer, please contact healthykids@madisonymca.org or call Madison Area YMCA Associate Health & Fitness Director Jennifer Casanova at (973) 822-9622 x2281.

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