Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vendors needed for 14th Annual Business Expo & Children's Day Festival

Vendors are invited to apply to the 14th Annual Business Expo & Children's Day Festival to be held on Sunday, April 28th from 12-6pm in Hendersonville's Jackson Park. 

Organized by Mountain BizWorks and El Centro Comunitario of Henderson County, the event features children's games, raffles, dance contests, and authentic Latin food. Over 3,000 people will attend this event, which is the largest annual gathering of the local Latino community.

Vendor applications are due April 12th. Businesses and organizations can rent a booth space for $120; and a table, chairs and tent for an additional $85. To sign up, contact Zuri McKeown at Mountain BizWorks: 828-253-2834 ext. 20 or zurilma@mountainbizworks.org.

The Y and Pfizer launch 50 Moving Forward

Forget “50 is the new 40” or even “the new 30.” Age 50 is about moving forward. That’s why the YMCA and Pfizer Inc launched 50 MOVING FORWARD, a healthy living plan designed to motivate adults 50 years and older with fresh ideas around behaviors that experts say are crucial to healthy aging: physical activity; preventive measures like screenings and vaccinations; healthy eating; and social interaction.

Those who want practical information, tips and activities that will help them build a healthier future can enroll for free starting today through May 18th in person at any YMCA location or online at YMCA.net/50MovingForward.

“Adults 50 years and older are the fastest growing age group at the Y, so it’s important that we offer resources geared toward this population. 50 MOVING FORWARD does exactly that in an environment that allows adults to focus on health, fitness, preventive measures and fun,” says Dianne Saccone, Y spokesperson for 50 Moving Forward. “50 MOVING FORWARD offers interesting and motivating activities that enhance the physical, mental and social well-being of adults 50 and older.”

50 MOVING FORWARD: A Wide-Ranging Approach for a Growing, Aging Population
Adults 50 years and older currently make up more than 30 percent of the US population, and by 2015, they are expected to represent 45 percent of Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that adults 50 and older have a 70 percent chance of developing at least one chronic disease. That’s why the Y, one of the nation’s leading nonprofits dedicated to improving the nation’s health, teamed up with Pfizer, with its health care expertise, to develop 50 MOVING FORWARD. Together, they are working with older adults to help them address their health and well-being.

50 MOVING FORWARD goes beyond the basic tenets of healthy eating and physical activity and highlights the importance of helping prevent health problems before they arise through screenings and vaccinations, and the health benefits of staying socially active and connected. One of the most beneficial things people can do is take steps to prevent illness. Even those who already practice healthy habits should be aware of things that may affect their health because as people age, their immune systems naturally begin to weaken.

While it’s important to eat well and be active, 50 MOVING FORWARD urges individuals to talk with their health care provider about getting regular health screenings and keeping vaccinations current. Every year, hundreds of thousands of American adults are hospitalized from diseases such as influenza, shingles and pneumococcus that could have been prevented by vaccination.

50 MOVING FORWARD is about taking a comprehensive approach to health through healthy eating, being physically active, taking preventive measures and staying socially active,” said Diane Saccone, Y participant, “But what I’m looking forward to is bringing together others like me to create a sense of community so we can tackle these life challenges together.”

50 MOVING FORWARD: Journey to a Healthier Future
Whether those 50 years and older are just getting started or are already practicing healthy habits, 50 MOVING FORWARD will help adults overcome barriers to making healthy lifestyle choices. Participants can enroll:
  • In person at any YMCA location where they can join in wellness events and activity classes designed for adults 50 years and older
  • Online at YMCA.net/50MovingForward, where they can opt-in to receive e-mails providing information, tips, patient/health care provider discussion guides and activities that can be incorporated anywhere, anytime

YMCA of Western North Carolina is one of 25 across the country that will offer specially designed
50 MOVING FORWARD weekly wellness events, classes and workshops. Both YMCA members and nonmembers are invited to join 50 MOVING FORWARD [for free]. A full calendar of events is available at ymcawnc.org 50 MOVING FORWARD events include:
  • Group Exercise Classes
  • Clubs such as softball, hiking, knitting, scrapbooking, gardening
  • April 1st Launch celebration at the Woodfin YMCA from 5 to 7:30 pm
For more information, contact us at:
YMCA of Western North Carolina
828 505 3990

YMCA receives grant to aid Shiloh Community

YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the nation’s 2700 YMCAs, selected the YMCA of Western North Carolina to participate in its Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) initiative. The goal of REACH is to improve health and eliminate disparities related to chronic diseases in African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino communities.

In October, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) REACH initiative awarded Y-USA a cooperative agreement of up to $4 million per year for up to five years to improve our nation’s health and well-being, with a specific focus on addressing gaps between racial and ethnic groups across the country. Y-USA is re-awarding this grant, selecting up to 16 new communities per year to participate in the REACH initiative in their communities. The Ys receiving funding are serving communities that reflect populations of under 500,000 and have an established relationship with a geographic area that is at least 50 percent African American/Black or Hispanic/Latino or a combination of the both racial/ethnic groups. Being selected for the REACH program will allow the YMCA of Western North Carolina to address barriers to healthy living in its community.

"As a leading nonprofit committed to healthy living, the Y believes that everyone in our community deserves to live life to its fullest regardless of where they live or the color of their skin," said Paul Vest, CEO. "The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health funding helps ensure our programs and initiatives are helping those individuals who face the greatest barriers to healthy living."
Many preventable risk factors—tobacco use, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity—are more common in communities of color, often resulting in higher prevalence of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and asthma, among others. Chronic disease contributes to roughly 75 percent of the $2.5 trillion spent annually on health care in the United States.

To achieve the REACH goals, communities implement targeted interventions that address the specific needs of African American/ Black and Hispanic/Latino communities. Strategies selected address critical issues to ensure all community members can achieve one or more of the following:

  • a healthy weight
  • have access to nutritious foods
  • are able to be physically active
  • are not exposed to smoke and other tobacco products
  • live in places that encourage emotional well-being
"Where you live should not affect your health," said Neil Nicoll, President and CEO, YMCA of the USA. "Yet, too many communities lack the resources for individuals to access opportunities for physical activity and healthy foods and improve their health and well-being. The Y’s longstanding partnership with CDC has allowed us to strengthen communities through programs and initiatives that create environments where all people have the opportunity to make a healthy choice. These funds enable us to continue this work and expand it to communities that need it most."
The YMCA of Western North Carolina is one of 16 Ys selected to receive funds through REACH. Several other national organizations will work with Y-USA to help achieve the goals of the cooperative agreement. Partners include the American Psychological Association, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Council of La Raza and California State University at Long Beach Center for Latino Community Health. All of the organizations funded through the REACH program bring the resources, dedication, and experience as leaders in this effort to create health equity across the country.

To learn more about the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program, including previous funded programs, visit www.cdc.gov/reach.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Public comments welcomed on WalkBikeNC draft plan through April

The DRAFT North Carolina Statewide Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan (WalkBikeNC Plan) has been released for public input. Public input is very important. Please go to www.walkbikenc.com to access links to the Draft Plan products. 
Imagine a community where kids can walk or bike safely to school; where a family can take an evening stroll; where an individual can make a quick trip to the grocery store without getting in the car. Efforts are being made create a blueprint for improving walking and bicycling for North Carolina communities.

Investing in sidewalks, bike lanes and greenways add many benefits to a community at relatively low cost:
* Promote physical, mental and social well-being by providing outdoor places to relax, exercise and socialize.
* Provide easy walking or bicycling connections between neighborhoods, schools, parks and trails.
* Increase property values, promote tourism and foster local businesses by encouraging foot traffic.
* Improve overall quality of life.
Other benefits include reduced traffic congestion, fewer vehicle crashes and improved air quality. State agencies also benefit from less wear on roads, which leads to lower costs and more efficient use of our transportation network.
What kind of walking or bicycling opportunities would you like to see in your area? How can we best provide the facilities to benefit the health, safety and well-being of your family and community? With your help, we can work to meet the needs of communities to allow people the freedom to safely walk or bicycle to work, school or just for fun.

The public is invited to review the plan online and submit comments until April 30. To submit comments: www.walkbikenc.com/abouttheproject

Acclaimed architect Sarah Susanka to present in benefit for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

On Thursday, April 11th, Sarah Susanka, acclaimed architect and best-selling author of the Not So Big book series will present The Not So Big Community to benefit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity's Building a Way Home campaign. Lead sponsor The Hilton at Biltmore Park, Asheville is the venue for this special event.

With more than 1.2 million copies of her books sold, Susanka has helped readers understand how walkable communities, “better, not bigger” design, and well-thought-out neighborhoods can positively impact our overall well-being. On April 11th, Susanka will discuss how we can incorporate changes into our lives that, collectively, will lead us towards creating more dynamic and sustainable communities.

According to Susanka, the more engaged and present people are in the process of making a community, the more alive an sustainable it will be. Learn how Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is building communities like this as part of its Building a Way Home campaign.

When: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Where: The Hilton at Biltmore Park, Asheville
Note: A small block of rooms is reserved for event guests at a special rate. Mention this event when booking.
Open to the public; advanced ticket purchase required
5:45pm - Cocktail reception with Sarah Susanka and Silent Auction of select items including a Brian Boggs “Lily” chair, handmade queen-size quilt and jewelry from Marthaler Jewelers
7:00pm - Sarah Susanka presentation and Q&A
8:00pm - Book signing by Malaprop's
COST: Ticket $65. To purchase, visit ashevillehabitat.org or call Eva Mellert at 828.210.9385.
Sponsorship opportunities available, starting at just $250. Contact Eva for details.