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Suffolk Partnership keeps moving

In early July, more than 500 people turned out for a 5K run/walk and 1-mile fun run to kick off “Suffolk on the Move.” But, that event was just the first of many being coordinated in Suffolk.

“Suffolk on the Move” is a yearlong campaign organized by Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community and is focused on getting Suffolk residents to develop a more active lifestyle.

While the calendar and events is still tentative, organizers are planning activities throughout the year to engage people of various levels of activity.

“We really want to focus on doing things everyone can do,” chairman Karen Brower said. “This is about getting everyone in the community involved — from children to people who can’t walk to people who want to run.”

One event that may take place in the future is another 5K and fun run in the fall and a “celebration” 5K next June.

“We had so many people request it,” Brower said. “People were walking up to us at the event telling us they’d do it again and wanted to know when the next one would be. It was an overwhelming success.”

To get children engaged and more aware of active living, the partnership is considering doing an art-competition for school children.

“The children are a large percentage of the population and the next generation,” Brower said. “By getting acquainted and aware of active living now, it may help them overcome some of the chronic illnesses their parents and grandparents are maybe experiencing.”

While it may generate interest among students, a Wii Fit competition for adults is another idea the committee is considering.

“We wanted to make sure we have an activity anyone who is disabled or has limited activity abilities can participate in,” Brower said. “Everyone has different starting points. Some people can start with a 5K. For others, this may be more suitable. But it’s still a way to get active and engaged.”

Three workshops are also in planning stages; a workshop on healthy eating and fitness choices during the holidays, a six-week smoking cessation workshop and a “Stroll and Roll Safety” class.

“There are just so many ideas flowing form the committee,” Brower said. “There’s no way we can do them all this year. We’ve just had such a supportive response, it’s been exciting.”

A goal of the partnership is to encourage and promote other health-based activities within the community and even put together a community calendar of physical activities, as well.

“It’s about bringing together resources from around the community,” Brower said. “If others in the city are planning something we’d love to help them promote it. Hopefully, we can get together a community calendar with all the physical activities going on in the month.”

Anyone interested in being involved with these programs can visit www.suffolkpartnership.com.