Blue mob

First Wellness Walk draws a crowd

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Joseph, 4, and Katrina Vermilyea cross Pennsylvania Avenue Wednesday afternoon during the first Wednesday Wellness Walk sponsored by Warren General Hospital and the Warren County YMCA.

A blue wave passed through Warren Wednesday afternoon.

The first Wellness Walk Wednesday, sponsored by Warren General Hospital and the Warren County YMCA, drew close to 150 participants.

Each participant received a blue Wellness Walk T-shirt, WGH CEO Rick Allen and YMCA Executive Director Thad Turner kicked off the festivities shortly before noon, and the walkers, led by WGH Executive Director of Operations Dan Grolemund, made a quick tour of downtown Warren.

In fact, the tour was too quick. It wasn’t even 12:15 as the lead walkers returned to Soldiers and Sailors Park. So, they turned around and did another lap.

The route started at the park on Pennsylvania Avenue, proceeded east to Liberty Street, north to Second Avenue, west to Hickory Street, north to Third Avenue, east to Liberty, south to Second, west around the Point back east on the north side of Pennsylvania to Liberty again, the back up the south side of Pennsylvania.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry A blue mob walks away from Soldiers and Sailors Park in Warren at noon Wednesday at the beginning of the first Wednesday Wellness Walk sponsored by Warren General Hospital and the Warren County YMCA.

“We did about two miles” over the two laps, Grolemund said.

There were about 40 employees from Warren General who participated and about 100 from the rest of the community.

“It was a lot of fun,” Matt Stover, who works at Northwest Bank, said. “Getting the community out and involved… it’s good for the health.”

“It’s a good break from sitting inside all day,” Melissa VanOrd, also of Northwest, said.

Joseph Vermilyea, 4, was one of a handful of youngsters participating in the event. “I feel super good,” he said. “It was fun. I saw a puppy.”

There was only one dog on the walk. Officials said there were no T-shirts for canine participants… yet.

“Our goal with this is to promote wellness… to get people out, active, and moving,” Grolemund said. “In Warren County, we are very high with heart disease, with diabetes, and respiratory illness. All of these conditions can be improved through regular exercise.”

“I thought it was a great time,” Turner said. “It’s something the community can see. The collaboration between non-profits is vital.”

“I hope everybody comes to all 12,” Allen said. The walks will continue every Wednesday through July 10.

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