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The Saucony Run for Good Foundation, established to help combat childhood obesity by providing financial support to community-based youth running programs, has announced its latest round of grant winners. The seven grant recipients include organizations from Missouri, Maine, and Mississippi, a state with the highest rate of obese and overweight children (44.4%) in the country.
Since the program’s 2006 launch, the Saucony Run for Good Foundation has given more than $500,000 in grants to more than 50 organizations nationwideâ€”all dedicated to promoting the sport of running as part of a healthy, active lifestyle among children.
â€œObesity and other health concerns have grown to pandemic levels in children, with lack of physical activity, poor dietary habits, and inadequate nutrition education driving this crisis,â€ said Richie Woodworth, president of the Saucony Run for Goodsm Foundation Board of Directors and of Saucony, Inc., a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel. â€œSaucony launched the Run for Goodsm Foundation to help communities build strong local programs that will arm our children with the knowledge and tools they need to get running and to live and maintain healthier lives.â€
The percentage of obese or overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 states, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America 2009, a report released in July 2009 by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In addition,
adult obesity rates increased in 23 states and did not decrease in a single state in the past year.
â€œWith obesity on the rise, we all agree that kids are in dire need of more active lifestyles,â€ said Susan K. Hartman, associate publisher of Runner’s World magazine and a member of the Saucony Run for Goodsm Foundation Board of Directors. â€œThe Saucony Run for Goodsm Program inspires and supports entire communities to promote and encourage healthier lifestyles for happier, fuller lives,â€ she said.
The recipients of the Saucony Run for Goodsm Foundation grants range from start-up programs looking to institute community running clubs, to well-attended existing programs that require additional funds to continue to foster growth in their organization. The primary goal for all grant recipients is to promote running as a critical part of healthy lifestyles among children.
The following organizations have been selected to receive a Saucony Run for Goodsm Foundation grant:
Broadreach Family & Community Services, Belfast, ME
Broadreach Family & Community Services is a non-profit agency that develops and delivers programs that support children, youth, and families. The agency’s Youthlinks program helps over 300 Maine-based youth each year. The grant will support Youthlinks’ Run-A-Hound Outing Club, an innovative after-school pilot program for 11 to 17 year-olds. Run-A-Hound will provide 66 area-youth with a program that integrates regular recreational running with a community service animal care program. www.broadreachmaine.org
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) is the only full-service hospital in the Cincinnati area dedicated to children’s health. CCHMC started HealthWorks!, a weight management program for obese youth as part of the Heart Institute of CCHMC. The grant will be used to create and support HealthWorks! â€œSteps Outâ€, a comprehensive program designed to improve fitness for obese youth via walking and running. www.cincinnatichildrens.org
Kids in Training, Inc., Cary, NC
Kids in Training (KIT) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to permanently change the unhealthy lifestyles of children and their families using sound nutrition and fitness education. KIT produces events to inspire outdoor activity and helps families incorporate better nutrition and fitness habits into their lifestyle. The grant will be used to provide financial assistance for lower-income families who cannot otherwise afford KIT’s program fees. www.kidsintraining.com
North Country Supervisory Union, Newport, VT
The North Country Supervisory Union establishes after-school programs that focus on physical fitness and nutrition so children can make healthy choices from childhood onward. The grant will be used to support a new after-school program called â€œFleet Feetâ€, a fitness program incorporating running, walking and hiking. Children will use pedometers to track the distances they travel each and every day.
The Oprah Winfrey Boys & Girls Club, Kosciusko, MS
The Oprah Winfrey Boys & Girls Club is funded through the vision and generosity of Oprah Winfrey. The club strives to offer Kosciusko a safe haven for children, while providing the community with tools for making positive life choices. The grant will help develop and implement â€œRun for Your Life,â€ a health awareness and fitness program that fits members’ needs by addressing and improving health and fitness habits through nutrition and exercise education and practice. www.bgcattala.org
Paris-Bourbon County YMCA, Paris, KY
The Paris-Bourbon County YMCA’s board and staff are devoted to educating more people about the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle. Short and long-term goals include addressing the needs of childhood obesity and inactivity. The grant will be used to create The Strong Kids Running Club, a mileage-based program promoting running to 7-to-14-year-olds. www.parisbourbonymca.org
Score 1 for Health, Kansas City, MO
Score 1 for Health is a non-profit organization that administers free, comprehensive health screenings to elementary-aged children living in Kansas City’s urban core. The grant will be used to support a comprehensive, school-based intervention by medical students who will teach students about nutrition and expose them to running as a healthy lifestyle choice. http://www.kcumb.edu/score1/
For grant applications and more information on how the Saucony Run for Goodsm Foundation can help kids in local communities nationwide, please visit www.sauconyrunforgood.com.
About Saucony, Inc.: Saucony, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands and a division of The Stride Rite Corporation, is a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals. For more information, go to www.saucony.com.
About Collective Brands, Inc.: Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units as well as multiple price points and selling channels. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its more than 4,500-store retail chain; Stride Rite, focused on lifestyle and athletic branded footwear and high-quality children’s footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride RiteÂ®, KedsÂ®, Sperry Top-SiderÂ®, RobeezÂ®, and SauconyÂ®, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit. Information about each of the Collective Brand’s units can be found at http://www.collectivebrands.com.