Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Health Fair Kicks Off "Live Well Perris"

Assistant City Manager Ron Carr explains the Live Well Perris campaign to a group of ministers attending the June 10 Cops-and-Clergy meeting in the City. Live Well Perris kicks off June 15 with a community health fair.
Assistant City Manager Ron Carr explains the Live Well Perris campaign to a group of ministers attending the June 10 Cops-and-Clergy meeting in the City. Live Well Perris kicks off June 15 with a community health fair.

The City of Perris will give away eight bicycles for residents who register Saturday to take part in a healthy eating and physical fitness program this summer.

The giveaways take place during a Community Health Fair that marks the kickoff of the “Live Well Perris” campaign, an initiative aimed at getting City residents off their couches and into an assortment of low and high-impact exercises while eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and spurning chips, cookies and sugary drinks.

Participants who enter the “Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) competition will be eligible to win a bicycle. Bikes will be raffled off periodically throughout the day.

The health fair runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Foss Field Park, which is adjacent to the City Hall Campus at 101 North D Street.

The event includes nearly 100 vendors, games, contests, rock-climbing, health screenings, a free-throw-shooting contest, puppet-show, Dominos tournament, plenty of giveaways and the opening weigh-in of the City’s “Biggest Loser” competition, modeled after the popular reality television show.

The City will be giving away t-shirts while supplies last, pedometers, stop-watches/radios and pens. Representatives from the Riverside County of Public Health will be on hand to register people without insurance for the Affordable Care Act. A major focus of the Live Well Perris program includes encouraging residents to sign-up for the PALA challenge.

Fruits and vegetables grow at a community garden at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Downtown Perris.
Fruits and vegetables grow at a community garden at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Downtown Perris.

For adults, that means completing 30-minutes of exercise a day, five days a week for six weeks over an eight-week span. For youngsters and teen-agers the goals include 60-minutes of exercise a day, five days a week for six weeks over an eight-week period. The program also includes healthy-eating goals including consuming more fish, fruits and vegetables and water instead of high-calorie soda or sports drinks.

Participants can track their goals by creating their own personal PALA online-log. Other Live Well Perris events include the restarting of the popular Perris Farmers Market on June 22, with an added emphasis on locally produced fruits and vegetables. On June 29,

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch will lead residents on the initial “Mayor’s Walk.” while City Council members will be exercising at City parks as part of the “Step Out to Work Out” program.

A 3-on3-basketball tournament takes place on July 27, the final weigh-in for the Biggest Loser competition takes place Sept. 14 and members of the Perris Valley Historical and Museum Association will lead residents on an informal and informative “history walk” down D Street.

Throughout the summer, Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough will lead constituents on several bicycle rides through the City while his City Council colleagues exercise at parks as part of the “Step Out to Work Out” program. Those dates will be announced soon.

Perris officials have distributed thousands of flyers, created a separate facebook page highlighting the Live Well Perris campaign, put up banners announcing the campaign and the health fair and posted several press releases on its website and facebook page.

Radio station KGGI 99.1 FM will promote the health fair this week and produce live reports from Saturday’s big fair. Assistant City Manager Ron Carr plugged the Live Well Perris campaign again this week, distributing flyers in the community’s Enchanted Heights neighborhood and making a presentation to the monthly meeting of Cops-and-Clergy.

“We’re giving people the opportunity to burn some calories,” Carr said. Pastor Wade Forde, of the Fifth Street and Lake Perris Seventh Day Adventist churches, said the congregations have created a community garden in Downtown Perris, where small plots of land are made available at no charge for planting fruits and vegetables.

Crops include cucumbers, watermelon, corn, cabbage, tomatoes and avocados. Forde said many residents believe that “health eating is expensive.” “If they do not have the resources, we will provide them,” Forde said. “I am excited to be part of this program. It offers an immediate and positive impact to community members by offering alternative eating choices.”

Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers urged the ministers to invite their congregations to Saturday’s big health-fair. She will be taking part in the Biggest Loser compeitition. “I expect a lot of people to come to the initial weigh-in,” Rogers said. “I’m leading by example.”