By Candace Hill, CIS of NOVA Outreach Coordinator

The forecast had predicted a torrential downpour with heavy winds and rain, but there was no turning back, as the already rescheduled Healthy Hammond Community Fair and 5k Color Run was going to happen on May 21st, rain or shine!

Even with the unpredictable morning rain, there were many “shining moments.” I could talk about the girl that came to the event alone, walking 1.5 miles from home to participate in the 5k, only to walk 1.5 miles back home after running the 3+ miles. Or about the other student who showed up an hour and a half early to make sure she could secure a spot in the Fun Run. There’s also the boy who ran so hard, just so he could say he “beat his mom!”. It really solidified our conviction that if you give kids and families the opportunity to be active, then they’ll take it and literally, “run with it!”

The Community Fair was also a bright spot on the day. The Wellness On Wheels (WOW) bus offered its own colorful backdrop to the kids throwing color packets up high in the air, and it offered not only dental services, but also immunizations for rising 6th graders. Non-profit organizations such as Neighborhood Health, the Teen Wellness Center, INOVA, Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria, and United Way were also present and set up tables inside the school lobby to offer important education to kids on ways to stay healthy and where to go if healthcare is needed.

We’re excited the event was a success, as the joy was evident in the faces of all participating in the Color Run. CIS of NOVA is excited to have supported such an important activity as part of the Healthy Hammond initiative.