News: Lancers, Lakewood YMCA come together for Healthy Kids Day
Story by Staff Sgt. Bryan Dominique
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – “Where’s Blitz! Did you see where Blitz went,” asked a frantic Seahawks fan of a Soldier assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Blitz is the Seattle Seahawks mascot and is one of the many patrons of this year’s Healthy Kids Day at the Young Men Christian Association, or YMCA, in Lakewood, Wash.
“Healthy Kids Day is a national initiative. It’s encouraged that every [YMCA] across the United States of America participates, and it’s all on the same day,” said Tauna Shoemaker, who is the marketing and development director for the Lakewood Family YMCA.
Healthy Kids Day has three goals, and that is to raise awareness, provide access, and give back, added Shoemaker.
This year Healthy Kids Day was April 26, and to help support the community, Soldiers from 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division headed to the Lakewood Family YMCA to volunteer their time.
“This is the kind of thing that can help you grow as a person,” said Spc. John Euler, a Santa Clara Calif. native and radar specialist with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, 2-2 SBCT. “I think volunteer work is very important for both personal growth and professional growth.”
The day consisted of numerous events, to include basketball, soccer, baseball, and the ‘wheel of exercise.’
Kids who wanted access to the bounce house located outside had to spin a wheel to determine which exercise they would perform. Soldiers were standing by to show how it was done and make sure the kids were doing it properly.
“Oh, 10 push-ups. Ok, so you have to do 10 push-ups, then you can go,” said a Soldier to a child who had just spun the wheel.
Patrons and volunteers also had the opportunity to donate blood after manning the stations and visiting all the different activities.
“One of my goals in helping run Healthy Kids Day is to make it have multiple purposes. There’s the awareness piece for the [YMCA], the access piece for all of our participants, and then it’s also to give back,” said Shoemaker.
“I thought a great place to try it was on Healthy Kids Day, just to build that awareness; you can do this and change lives,” added Shoemaker.
The action started around 10 a.m. and ended around 1 p.m., but for Euler, it was less work and more play.
“It’s fun. I like to see that we’re out here with the community helping out,” said Euler.