Organizations that mold character in young hearts are the spirit of neighborhoods that are making a difference throughout their hometown.
Organizations that empower young wills through self-esteem and personal awareness are cultivating new leaders of tomorrow whose dreams will illuminate straighter paths to distant goals.
Organizations that embrace healthy lifestyles and renewed commitment to personal well-being are growing a future, not just for their members but for all who would follow their example.
Many fine organizations in Cleveland and Bradley County are stepping up to these tasks, but one in particular has defined each of these objectives as a cornerstone of its community mission. We refer to 100 Black Men of Bradley County which five years ago added health and wellness to its repertoire of objectives for young people and their entire community.
Through an array of innovative — yet down-to-earth initiatives — 100 Black Men now keys its community work on four primary objectives: mentoring, education, economic empowerment, and health and wellness.
Evidence of the latter cornerstone can be found with last week’s announcement of “The Walk of Life” Health Fair, a fifth annual event scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the family-friendly Bradley Square Mall.
It won’t just be talking about good health.
It won’t just be distributing literature about the value of staying fit.
It won’t just offer suggestions about the do’s and don’ts of maintaining one’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
True, the well-intentioned advice, the array of pamphlets and the endearing offers for personal assistance will be included. But so will a vast opportunity for hands-on experiences.
Health screenings will be available.
Physical evaluations will be center stage.
Counseling of many varieties will be within immediate reach for those wishing to talk.
In short, those planning to attend the coming Health Fair can expect to find booths representing these medical and pharmaceutical industries: Asthma/spirometry, blood pressure, bread model, bone scans, cigarette smoking, circulation exam, dental exam, health mini-lecture, HIV/AIDS screening, mental health, nutrition education, prostate model, vision and hearing screening, and weight management.
That’s a lot.
But there’s more.
The event will include a booth for Bradley County voter registration; and, for those who enjoy live entertainment, local talent will be showcased on the mall stage throughout the four-hour salute to good health and self-maintenance.
And, donations will be accepted and donors’ names will qualify for a drawing for a gorgeous 42-inch flat screen TV. It is assumed the new TV will be enjoyed daily by the winner, but only after a healthy routine of exercise — whether from walking, jogging, biking or swimming, or any physical activity that works the heart and strengthens the muscles and bones.
Improved health through lifestyle change is a growing commitment by countless organizations. Each is to be applauded for the new direction.
But when a proven group of community leaders — namely, 100 Black Men of Bradley County — adds health and wellness to its league of existing priorities, it is a double win for our hometown and for those who call it home.
We credit this endearing group of mentors and Bradley Square Mall for bringing “The Walk of Life” Health Fair to Cleveland for its fifth big year.
We encourage residents of all ages, races and genders to attend.
It is a true “Walk of Life,” one whose road can lead to unspoken potential for those who will travel it.