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By Janis Mork

April 17, 2013 (Spring Valley)- The Spring Valley Community Center put on its 8th annual “It’s How We Live!” Festival  on April 13 at the Spring Valley Park near the center. This is a health and wellness event that is geared towards families to inspire and help them live healthier lives, and to recognize that being healthy can be fun. Their unofficial motto is ‘Go play. Get fit. Get healthy.’

Activities included Astro-jumps, hula hoops, a rock climbing wall, healthy food samples, prizes and giveaways and information booths. Free health screenings were also offered including dental, glucose, blood pressure, and fluoride screenings for pregnant moms.

Renell Nailon, Spring Valley Community Center Director told ECM that the Spring Valley Community Center started this event in 2005 as part of the County’s healthy families initiative.

“We’re trying to spread the word about healthy lifestyle and living.”The event is making the community more aware of a healthy lifestyle and how they can make families healthier, he added, estimated that around 700 to 800 people turned out for this year’s event. A similar event is planned in Lakeside next. 

Businesses with booths included San Diego Parks and Recreation, American Youth Outreach Programs, Care 1st Health Plan, San Miguel Fire Department, Otay Water District, California Phones, American Cancer Society- Relay For Life, San Diego County Library, Zumba Fitness, Solaire Energy Systems, WIC (Women Infants Children), San Diego Youth Family Coalition, Heaven’s Windows from New Seasons Church, PlayZone, East Region Public Health Nursing, and Grossmont Spring Valley Family Health Center- Prenatal Program.

Teenagers, who attend the Spring Valley Rec Club at the center, showed off their break dancing skills.

Daniel Trautner from the San Diego Parks and Recreation mentioned to ECM how this event “has averaged 750-100,000 people” each year, and it grows each year. He showed ECM around the grounds.

There’s a start line, where everyone gets a water bottle and goody bag with a stamp card. The people go around each booth and get their cards stamped. Then, once they’re done, they go to the finish line, where they’re eligible for prizes and they fill out a survey with stickers.

Sponsors included San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation, County Healthy and Human Services Agency, San Diego County Library, Spring Valley Youth and Family Coalition, Otay Water District, and Healthy Adventures Foundation.

This was the first year that the San Miguel Fire Department came out to be a vendor. Natalie Grimes was their representative. To get a stamp, the people had to demonstrate how to ‘stop, drop, and roll.’ Grimes had a fire extinguisher on the table that the people could try out, and she mentioned how the women were especially excited to be using it for the first time.

Participants can even win prizes. Through the years, prizes have included trips, bikes, and sporting equipment such as hand weights, scooters, exercise balls and racquetballs. 

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