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YMCA celebrates Healthy Kids Day

By WILLIAM PAINE

william.paine@southwesttimes.com

Last Saturday, the YMCA of Pulaski County held a Healthy Kids Day. Keeping kids healthy, both physically and mentally, was the focus of the event, along with showing kids and parents what there is to do in Pulaski.

“It was a tremendous success,” said Brandon Smith, Community Outreach Director at YMCA of Pulaski County. “We accomplished exactly what we wanted to accomplish.”

The event featured an obstacle course and former NFL player Brandon Anderson was on hand to help the kids through, as well as give them some personal training tips. Members of a Martial Arts group were also there to show the youngsters self-defense techniques.

Other youth oriented organizations came to Healthy Kids Day, as well, including members of the local dance studio and Friends of the Library, who were giving away books.

Addie Levy was at the YMCA along with several stringed instruments, which she allowed the kids to strum. Addie teaches private music lessons and is an instructor for the Greater Pulaski Junior Appalachian Musicians (GRAPeJAM), which is part of the larger Junior Appalachian Musician (JAM) organization. She was recently featured in a video meant to promote the JAM organization.

Terrie Sternburg and Rhonda Whitehurst of the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley were on hand as well.

“We were there promoting the Fine Arts Center and we had a canvas set up kids for a community paint,” said Whitehurst. “So each kid got to paint a little on the canvas and the kids came and they painted a few strokes and it turned out pretty good.”

Whitehurst and Sternburg managed to sign up several additional youngsters for the free art kits provided by the F.A.C. Many of their parents signed up for the F.A.C.’s Second Saturdays art classes.

So, families and kids came and got to see first-hand all the different things Pulaski County has to offer,” said Brandon Smith. “They got information about where to sign up and where there studios were and that sort of thing. It was a great turnout. The vendors were amazing … it couldn’t have gone any better.”

Organizations in attendance included Jubilee Christian Church, Pulaski Library, Pyles Combat, Fine Arts Center of the NRV, Dancing in the Wings, Mayflower Christian Academy, Addie Levy Music Lessons, Pulaski Dance Company, Ferguson Fitness, Adaire Theatre, YMCA Swim Lessons, Cardio Hooping Class, Brandon Anderson/Youth Athletic Trainer and Painting in the Spirit.

“We often hear that there is nothing for kids to do in Pulaski County, and while there could always be more for kids to do, we felt it was important to provide some exposure to all the great activities that are available in the County,” said Smith.

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