Monroe YMCA promoting activity for Healthy Kids Day


The Monroe YMCA is gearing up for its annual Healthy Kids Day event, a national initiative to improve the health of kids by encouraging physical activity during the summer months.

The free event takes place 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at the Monroe YMCA, and will include around 30 different vendors and feature free activities, arts and crafts, dance and martial arts demonstrations, activities in the pool and horticulture. Vendors will be scattered throughout YMCA facilities and, depending on the weather, outdoor activities also will be available.-á

"It's really to feature local businesses and organizations that have something to offer for kids,GÇ¥ said event manager Tania Price.

The event is meant to be highly interactive. Kids who visit each vendor display and engage in offered activities will be eligible to win prizes.-á

Healthy Kids Day caters to children K-6 grade, but all kids and families are welcome at the event. There will be special appearances by officers from the Monroe Police Department and firefighters from Monroe Fire District 3, who will be bringing their safety trailer and an aid car.

Returning to the event this year is Inside Out: The Original Organ Show by Providence Regional Medical Center, which takes people on a tour of what is inside their bodies. Actual human organs are displayed, including hearts, lungs, brains, livers and kidneys. The health-oriented exhibit shows viewers what healthy organs look like, as well as the brutal reality of organs that have been damaged by things like substance abuse and unhealthy eating habits.

The display is graphic, but very compelling, Price said.

"It's really, really cool,GÇ¥ she said. "They also have posters that are a little bit graphic about what can happen if you smoke; what can happen if you drink excessively.GÇ¥

Other, more light-hearted features include balloon animals crafted by Chuck Amos of Chuck the Balloon Guy and Evergreen Speedway's Racey the Raccoon, who will be escorted to the event by speedway operators Doug and Traci Hobbs. Provided the weather is nice, outdoor activities might include a bouncy house and relay races.

Local boy scouts, cub scouts and 4-H groups will be in attendance, along with Sea Mar Community Health Center, Monroe Therapeutic, Dr. Raymond Maxwell of Dr. "MaxGÇ¥ Orthodontics, Stocker Farms, the Monroe Library and Take the Next Step. Molina Healthcare will provide its "smoothie bike,GÇ¥ which allows kids to use physical activity to make a smoothie.

Healthy Kids Day is all about strengthening families and building community, said YMCA program director Jamie Williams.

"There are so many community resources within the city limits of Monroe, many people don't fully understand what's out there for kiddos and families,GÇ¥ Williams said. "So our job is to bring some of these folks together in one location, so that kids and families can have their eyes opened to the resources right in our back yard.GÇ¥

The Y's emphasis on families is something that sets them apart from other organizations, Williams said.

"I think that's one of the things that really makes the Y different, is that we want kids here ' we want families here. It starts from the top down, and us fostering healthy kids at a young level is critical,GÇ¥ Williams said. "It takes a village. It takes all of us.GÇ¥

Vendor participation in Healthy Kids Day is free. For more information about becoming a vendor, contact Price at 360-805-1879 or For more information about the Monroe Y and Healthy Kids Day, visitá

Photos courtesy of the YMCA ItGÇÖs all about kids at the YMCAGÇÖs Health Kids Day. The nationwide event takes place on Saturday, April 30, at the Monroe Y.


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