Strong winds were no match for the willpower of Henry County residents who wanted to get out and enjoy East Lake Park for the annual Healthy Henry County Halloween Walk.
Parents, kids and even dogs marched around the lake where they could choose to stop at any of 14 booths scattered throughout on Sunday, Oct. 21. All stops were sponsored by a different Healthy Henry County Community partner, such as the Boy Scouts, Iowa State Extension and Family Connections.
Each had a healthy activity for kids to try and non-food related treat for them as well. Healthy Henry County Communities Director Kelly Carr said bringing kids to the park and encouraging them to have fun and learn healthy habits was the whole goal for the day.
“We’re trying to encourage more physical activities,” she said. “We just try to have a free, hopefully nice afternoon for families to get out and explore the park.”
She said she hoped by holding an outdoor activity, it would encourage parents to take children outside and get them active, and possibly introduce the park to families who did not know it was there.
Lorraine Cushman recently moved to Mt. Pleasant and did not know about the park until Sunday’s event. She brought her two kids out for the walk because she thought it would be a fun way for the kids to wear their costumes and learn about healthy lifestyle choices as well.
She said she was encouraged to see there was another park in town and was looking forward to having a place to bring her kids once the weather warmed up again in spring.
The healthy choices theme of the day related not only to physical activity but physical health. Martha Hernandez from Ismile passed out toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss from her booth.
She said she has been participating in the event since it began, and was encouraged by the number of people who were out. She said that reaching out to kids about dental health is not an easy task, but by being at events that encourage healthy habits, she’s able to help instill the importance of forming good habits at a young age to both parents and children.
“It’s a good way to reach out to the parents and give them information about our program as well,” she said. “It’s definitely a good event we look forward to every year.”