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East Rowan YMCA event gets kids moving

By Lee Ann Sides Garrett
For the Salisbury Post
Linda Bost, executive director at the East Rowan YMCA, said Healthy Kids Day was designed “to motivate kids and their families to get up and move.”
And move they did, as a sudden midday thunderstorm scattered participants at the event Saturday.
The event was held on the Y soccer field and ended shortly before noon as the storm poured buckets and sent families running for shelter. More than 250 children and their families attended the event, which featured performances, activities and information about healthy living.
But the storm wasn’t the only thing Saturday that got the kids motivated and moving.
A one-mile fun run kicked off the event. Salisbury Rowan Runners worked with the YMCA after-school program children and inspired many of them to participate. All runners received a medal and T-shirt for participating.
Bost said the run was about getting the kids moving, not about winning.
Each child attending the event also received a backpack with a water bottle and healthy-living information, including recipes.
Charliey Briggs said her children had a great time before the storm forced them inside.
“I liked the inflatable race,” Briggs’ daughter Madison said. The event featured five inflatables.
Briggs said her favorite activity was the “drunk-driving carts.” Participants drove golf carts through a course while wearing goggles that simulated intoxication. Briggs put on the glasses but didn’t drive a cart.
“I got a little queasy when I put the goggles on,” Briggs said. “It felt like I was drunk.”
The carts, sponsored by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and Salisbury Police Department, were a very important part of the event to Briggs. She said a drunken driver killed her sister.
Briggs and her children played games in the Y game room during the storm.
The event also included performances by the East Rowan Winter Guard and Dance Dimensions. Children played with McGruff the crime dog while being fingerprinted and Sparky the dog at the smokehouse, a mobile structure that simulates what happens in a fire and helps teach fire safety.
Bost said the day was part of a national effort, the YMCA Activate America program, designed “to get America up and going to prevent obesity.”
The Y offered to waive its joining fee for memberships Saturday and wet participants stood in a long line for information during the storm.
“We’ve been wanting to join the Y,” Briggs said. “We’re going to join today.”

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