An idea invested in by teenagers to combat childhood obesity has evolved into a movement.
The Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission provided a $400 grant to Jan Matthews with MTM Corporation for a walk that would target childhood obesity. The idea for a walk has transformed into Let’s Move Athens, a mission to promote a healthy lifestyle in four areas: fitness, finance, faith and family.
The Let’s Move Athens event will be Saturday, Nov. 12, from 8 a.m. to noon at Athens High School’s stadium on U.S. 31. The event will include a Walk for Your Cause segment where participants can register to walk the stadium’s 1.5-mile track to raise awareness about their cause, for example Relay for Life or the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Money raised from the walk will fund Limestone County Department of Human Resources foster care programs and the MTM Unsung Hero Scholarship Fund. The cost to walk is $10 per person or $8 per person for teams.
In addition, vendors will provide information related to fitness, finance, faith and family with the emphasis being to gear that information for youth.
“Let's Move Athens has become an initiative to bring awareness to obesity and hunger in our community as well as bringing all our resources and services together,” Matthews said. “Our takeaway is we hope those who are struggling with obesity, hunger, fitness, finance, faith and family walk away inspired to do more and to be so very proud of the City of Athens.”
Earlier this year, the Dekko Foundation sent Mayor Ronnie Marks $3,500 to empower youth as part of its 35th anniversary celebration. Mayor Marks gave the funds to the Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission. The students from Athens High, Athens Bible, Lindsay Lane Christian Academy and home school programs voted to distribute $3,000 as grants to non-profit groups that had a project designed to improve the city. MTM Corporation received one of the grants.
The Athens-Limestone Hospital Wellness Center has agreed to do a $500 sponsorship to support efforts and will be one of the vendors providing information geared to youth.
“To see that our grant is going to such a great organization and that the event is getting community support shows me that the youth of Athens really want to get involved in the growth of our city,” said Athens High student Sabrina Young, a member of the Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission.
Mayor Marks commended the Youth Commissioners on how they decided to invest the Dekko Foundation funds to further support the community.
“Their grants have benefited the arts, Girl Scouts and a Hospice program for grieving children,” he said. “Now their investment in Let’s Move Athens has spurred additional financial support from our hospital and an opportunity to raise funds for DHR’s foster children and the graduating seniors who receive Unsung Hero scholarships. I’ll take that return on an investment any day.”
Those interested in sponsoring the event, being a vendor or registering to walk can call Matthews at 256-874-2941 or email her.