Pontiac’s Hustle in the Park Helps Encourage Good Health

unityTOPinprogressJewel_01Pontiac’s Hustle in the Park Schrock2015_SmilingFace_adHelps Encourage Good Health

(C. Proxmire,  Sept. 5, 2015)

The Healthy Pontiac, We Can Coalition (HPWC) and the Friends of the Pontiac Parks Association hosted the third annual Pontiac Hustle in the Park on Aug. 22 at Beaudette Park.  Not only was there dancing, but several activities for kids and a row of tables with resources for the parents.

St. Joseph Hospital sent Community Health Navigator Theresa Kowalski to do health screenings.  This included blood pressure, glucose and BMI (Body Mass Index).  “These basic tests can help identify problems and encourage people to seek out medical care,” Kowalski said.  “We go to events like this so we can help people where they are at.  We see a lot of people gardenfreshADwithout insurance. And it’s good for people who have insurance too since even people with insurance don’t always get the preventative care they should.”

Emek Okoroh is a volunteer with Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA) doing the Meet Up and Eat Up Program.  He and others travel to 30 sites all throughout Pontiac to deliver food and play with kids right in their own neighborhoods.  “We bring out the football or the hula hoops, or we play tag or sharks and minnows. We make the kids active and play so they get hungry, and we make sure they have food.  Sometimes they just want to play or talk to us, but we tell them ‘take a break and eat’ too,” Okoroah said.  “We also build a bond with the kids.  They need adults.  They need people to know them and to be involved in their lives.  They’re enjoying summer right now but as school gets closer we’ll get them excited about going back.”

Another organization doing good work in the Pontiac community is Oakland Mediation Center.  Mediation Supervisor Megan Dennis has a Masters Degree in the Resolutions ArcadeAD_03Program at Wayne State University and has been moderating for almost 20 years. Her work in the court system helps resolve disputes in a way that can bring parties a stronger sense of peace and involvement than a court case.  “I believe in the mediation process because it gives the parties buy-in and helps create resolution,” Dennis said.  “Then they are living up to an agreement rather than having someone else decide for them.”  Oakland Mediation has volunteers onsite in courtrooms in Pontiac, Waterford, Southfield, Troy and Rochester.  Dennis said there are over 70 active, well-trained volunteers who make the service possible.

Other resources and vendors included Fresh Food Share, Training and Treatment Innovations, Pontiac Sun Time Bank, Friends of Pontiac Parks Association, Unique Food Service, Great Lakes Academy, and 5/3 Bank who donated $150 to make the day possible.  Oakland County Parks was also on hand with a bounce house for the little kids while the older ones passed time shooting hoops.  And of course old school music filled the summertime air of the park, with the picturesque Clinton River and the lush rustling trees adding to the vibe as people of all ages got their hustle on.

Learn more about Healthy Pontiac – We Can at www.oakgov.com/health/partnerships/Pages/Healthy-Pontiac,-We-Can.aspx.




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