With a revamped Health and Wellness program launched this year, Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District welcomed over 3,500 attendees to the HCISD and Valley Baptist Health System Wellness Kickoff and Fun Run Challenge Monday night at Boggus Stadium.
“We want to get families in Harlingen excited about healthy lifestyle choices,” said Luis Solorio, the district’s first coordinator for wellness and physical education. “Our goal is to build sustainable healthy habits for all families in Harlingen, and I think the turnout proved that this community believes in that cause.”
Participants walked, ran, participated in challenges, watched cheerleader performances, visited with fitness and wellness vendors and met WBC Lightweight World Champion boxer Omar Figueroa, Jr. during the event.
“I am excited about being a part of this event because these kids are the future,” said Figueroa, Jr., a Weslaco native who is back in the Rio Grande Valley while an injury to his hand heals. “We need to make sure they keep an active lifestyle and stay physically active in whatever sport they decide to participate in.”
As part of the event, schools across HCISD competed for a Spirit Award and cash prize of $500 to benefit the campus’s wellness program. The prize was awarded based on several criteria, including attendance, spirit and participation at the event, as well as the completion and implementation of the school’s wellness plan.
Fit 4 a Minute Episode 1 HCISD launched it’s Fit 4 a Minute web series this year to take a look into how schools, students and staff are turning wellness into habits. Check out the first episode at Bowie Elementary.
Zavala Elementary School took home the prize, HCISD Wellness Coordinator Luis Solorio announced to campuses on Tuesday afternoon. Crockett, Sam Houston and Lamar elementary schools earned a first runners up prize of $100 and Vela Middle School and Treasure Hills Elementary School earned $50 as second runners up.
In total, HCISD earned $4,450 through event sponsorship sales to fitness and wellness vendors to benefit wellness programs district wide as well as in individual schools.
“The response from the local business community was phenomenal,” said Corey Ryan, HCISD’s marketing coordinator. “Our goals were to bring wellness resources to our families, as well as to generate some funding for our school programs to benefit students and staff. The turnout we received was outstanding, and I think everyone really benefited from the event.”
HCISD would also like to provide a special thank you to Valley Baptist, the event’s title sponsor, for supporting the event, as well as to the Boys and Girls Club of Harlingen for lending its equipment for the event, Ryan said.
“This was a community effort that involved a lot of hard work from our staff and from our community leaders,” he said.