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Fun, Fit Families event provides information, screenings, exercise

Jan. 05, 2013 @ 11:02 PM

HUNTINGTON -- What started out with one local woman receiving help from a local nonprofit organization ended with that woman putting together an event to help out her own community Saturday evening.

The Fun, Fit Families Community Action Project kicked off at the Phil Cline YMCA Family Center, where about 30 people came for free health screenings and fitness demonstrations.

The event was put together by Aliyah Shareef, who is a former client of Dress for Success River Cities, which sponsored the event.

In participating in Dress for Success, Shareef was able to jumpstart her own career, and now she is giving back the organization by volunteering with its Professional Women's Group, said Cindy McCarty, a volunteer with Dress for Success.

"It goes right in with the concept of Dress for Success," McCarty said. "We don't just give women their suits and send them out the door. We mean to empower them in all aspects of their life, whether it's getting a job or becoming a leader in their own communities. It's that idea of paying it forward. We want to show these women that when they see a problem, they have the capability to solve it."

Fun, Fit Families events will take place the first Saturday of each month until May, and each event takes place at the family center.

Educational workshops on nutrition and fitness will be offered as well as nutritious food demonstrations. There also are games including hopscotch, double dutch jump rope, hula hooping, volleyball, basketball, and indoor track and field activities.

Volunteers from St. Mary's Medical Center also were at the event to provide free health screenings to participants.

It was the kind of event that really can serve families who take advantage of it, said Jamilyn Hamlin, wellness coordinator with St. Mary's.

"The screenings are free, and the type of information they learn from the screening can always lead to making someone aware of an issue they might not even have symptoms of at this point," Hamlin said. "It's always great to team up with another organization that is wanting to offer all aspects of wellness, not just physical wellness but mental and emotional wellness too."

For more information about The Fun, Fit Families Community Action Project, visit www.dressforsuccess.org.

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