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Student-athletes assist with Olivet Wellness Fair
May 01, 2013

Originally published in the Battle Creek Enquirer April 30, 2013 (www.battlecreekenquirer.com)

By Lacy Janousek

OLIVET Brayden Whittaker tossed the dice across the Olivet Middle School gymnasium floor. The dice decided his fate: Whittaker had to crab-walk. After slight instruction from his older brother, Whittaker crab-walked in circles in front of the Barry-Eaton District Health Department booth.

Whitaker, 5, was celebrating the Ninth Annual Healthy Kids Summit on Tuesday at Olivet Community Schools. The district’s Wellness Committee had been collaborating each month since October in preparation for Tuesday’s wellness fair.

Karla Love, food service supervisor at Olivet Community Schools, has helped organize seven similar healthy living summits for the district. As the director of the Wellness Committee, Love wanted to improve attendance in hopes to increase community knowledge about full-body wellness. She decided to make the fair more enticing for community members of all ages, she said.

“We aren’t going to change everything overnight,” Love explained. “If several families walk away with the renewed commitment that they are going to get out and exercise, that would mean success.”

A free dinner was provided at the fair. Love planned quesadilla lasagna with fresh fruit and vegetables for dinner; and for dessert, Greek yogurt topped with deep-fried cinnamon crisps and berries.

With donations from Gordon Food Services, United Dairy Industry and the Olivet Parent Teacher Organization, Love said she was able to give families a healthy and easy option for dinner.

“We’re offering opportunities, alternatives and ideas because we all know making little changes is what makes a big change,” Love said.

More than 30 healthy living themed booths lined the Olivet Middle School gymnasium. Student-athletes from Olivet College, a local Weight Watchers group, the Olivet pharmacy and other health-centered businesses in the area joined to educate the district. Many booths gave away healthy snacks, prizes or the opportunity to enter raffles.

Olivet Community Schools Superintendent Brooke Judd said she had high hopes for what the wellness fair had to offer.

“I hope that people left with an awareness that wellness has to come from the inside,” Judd said. “It’s about taking control of those things we often times let control us, like our attitudes. Once we take control of those things we can become a healthier school, community and society.”


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