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Celebrate Life Fun Run/Walk Good for Your Heart in More Ways Than One

By Kathy Hubbard
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” This quote from Confucius fits perfectly with today’s subject because we’re going to talk about going to Saturday’s Celebrate Life Fun Run/Walk.
We all know that running, walking and other aerobic exercises are good for our heart health. So, when you combine something good for you and something good for the community there’s no reason not to put your heart into it. Right?
“Fun runs are a great way to get fit, achieve a goal and raise money for charity,” Health and Fitness magazine says on their website. “Physical benefits can include toning up, losing weight and ultimately increasing your fitness level. But, as well as physical benefits, there are serious mental merits.” You, know, that flood of endorphins to the brain most commonly referred to as “runners’ high.”
If you don’t know, Celebrate Life is a run, walk or ride across the Long Bridge, this Saturday, August 8, at 9 a.m. It’s dedicated to the memory of cancer victim, Jenny Meyer who had a vision for helping those stricken with this dreaded disease. Meyer’s sister, Julie Walkington organizes this event each year to raise the needed funds to provide acts of kindness that cancer patients would otherwise not receive.
Now celebrating eleven years of fundraising, Celebrate Life’s mission is well known in the community. The only change, Walkington said, is that over the years participation has increased.
“We have become a well-established community event that has expanded our reach to not only Sandpoint, but the surrounding communities as well. We serve Bonner General Health’s Outpatient Clinic, Home Health, Hospice as well as Kootenai Health Cancer Clinic in Sandpoint,” Walkington said.
“In a nutshell, people affected by cancer know where they can go for support with no strings attached and sponsors know the importance of continuing to donate to this community event. Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer,” she added.
The fun isn’t only about fundraising. If you participate in this and other events of this type during the year you’ll meet other people who have similar interests to you. You’ll feel a part of community activism. You’ll get that feeling of accomplishment that will make your heart feel good.
It’s not too late to sign up. The race starts at Dog Beach. The cost is $30 for adults, $25 for those aged six to sixteen. Registration forms are available online at celebratelifefunrunwalk.org or can be picked up and dropped off at Sandpoint Furniture and Bonner General Health’s switchboard.
Actually, if you’re going to be downtown today, stop by BGH between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. to not only register, but to pick up your shirt at the same time. If you can’t do that, show up at the race on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Even if you register the day of, you’ll get a tee shirt.
The goal this year is to raise $30,000. With advance registration fees and corporate sponsorships, Celebrate Life is only $10,500 away from that goal.
“When we very first started, we did not set a goal as we figured any money raised to benefit those in the community affected by cancer was a plus. Now, with the growing need for more assistance, we have started setting a goal in the hopes that we will always be here to provide for those battling cancer. We want to strive to make each new year of Celebrate Life our most successful. There will always be a need,” Walkington said.
So, get up early on Saturday, eat a light breakfast high in carbohydrates like two slices of toast with fruit around 7 a.m., be sure you drink plenty of water and bring a bottle with you, when you get to Dog Beach do a good warm up and then enjoy the race. Oh, for heart’s sake, just do it!
Kathy Hubbard is a member of Bonner General Health Foundation Advisory Council. She can be reached at 264-4029 or kathyleehubbard@yahoo.com.