By all accounts, 2014 was a stellar year for the City’s Live Well Perris healthy-eating active-living initiative.
The City sponsored more than 150 nutrition-education classes, morning workouts, sports-skills clinics and signature events like a senior prom, pet parade and expo, a pair of hikes at the Lake Perris State Recreation Area and participation in the annual International Walk to School Day, which drew more than 400 students, parents, teachers and supporters.
City Council members received a year-in-review report about Live Well Perris at the Oct. 28 City Council meeting. The ongoing initiative has been lauded by residents, health-care professionals, elected officials and Southern California government representatives as a model for community engagement to improve quality of life.
“Looking back, it appears every one of our Live Well Perris events has enjoyed a great turnout,” said Perris Mayor Daryl Busch. “We’ve done a lot of community outreach through our Live Well Perris program, which was our point in the first place. Our staff has done an excellent job.”
Perris Administrative Services Manager Isabel Carlos highlighted major Live Well events. Those included:
- 125 in-class demonstrations to Perris elementary students showing them how to prepare healthy snacks. More than 2,500 students took part in the demonstrations as part of the Live Well Perris’ “Chef in the Classroom” program.
- A community-health fair in April that drew about 2,000 people and featured high-blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, healthy-recipe books and prizes – like bicycles—that encouraged exercise.
- A boxing-skills clinic in May that drew about 1,000 spectators and participants.
- A pet parade and expo that drew more than 500 people and an assortment of dogs, cats, birds and one pig to Paragon Park.
- An aquatics meet at the Drop Zone water park that drew more than 2,000 participants and spectators.
- A baseball clinic in August at the Big League Dreams sports complex that drew more than 500 players between the ages of 5 and 18.
- A skateboard tournament at the new pump-track at Paragon Park in September that drew 200 participants and spectators.
- The 4th annual Tour De Perris bicycles rides and the initial 5-K power walk in October that combined drew more than 250 participants.
- The International Walk-to-School Day in October that drew more than 400 participants.
- A soccer-skills camp in October that coincided with the ground-breaking of a new soccer complex at Patriot Park that drew more than 200 participants.
- A Senior Prom that attracted dozens of couples in their golden years for an evening of dancing and dining.
- A series of “winter workouts” that attracted hundreds of residents for Saturday morning exercising in various Perris parks.
City officials also presented awards to residents and municipal staff members who completed physical fitness challenges and honored two fourth-grade students—Alexa Garcia and Ian Mead, both of Avalon Elementary School-- with gift baskets for creating the winning poster entries for the recent walk to school day.
Recipients of Presidential Active Living Award (PALA) certificates included Michelle Clay, Monica Martinez, Saida Amozgar, Michele Ogawa, Judy Haughney, Richard Belmudez, Chineze Ndukwe, Arturo Garcia, Ron Car, Arturo Cervantes, Ted Norton, Faye Schoborg, Veronica Arana, Marilyn Fernholz, Monica Chan and Joe Vargo.
City officials received even more good news recently when Cecilia Arias, a public affairs representative from Kaiser Permanente, presented the City with a check for $12,000 to continue Live Well Perris. City administrators and staff are planning events to continue and expand Live Well Perris in 2015.
“City-wide initiatives do make a difference,” Arias said in remarks to the City Council. “You have helped your community thrive through physical fitness and eating well. Congratulations on a very good job.”