Bee Well strives for active community

Bee Well of Edgar County has several projects in the works.

The coalition of health professionals, educators and others is trying to reverse Edgar County’s status as one of the more unhealthy counties in Illinois to a healthier place to live. 

One of the organization’s successful endeavors is the summer fun run for young children. The weekly event features 30-yard, 50-yard and 100-yard dashes plus longer races of half-mile and mile lengths. 

Building on that success, Bee Well has partnered with the Paris Pacers for Dashing to the Doc.

Leighsa Cornwell explained the new program during the Thursday, June 7, Bee Well meeting.

“It’s an eight-week training program for kids in third through seventh grade,” said Cornwell. “They are going to start on the high school track and move to the cross-country track there.” 

The end goal is to get participants conditioned and trained to run in the three-mile Doc Acklin Race later in the summer. The first session of Dash for the Doc is 6:30 p.m. July 5 at Paris High School.

Cornwell said the $25 fee covers the entry fee and a participant T-shirt for the Doc Acklin Race. There may be some financial assistance to help children who cannot pay the $25 fee. 

“This isn’t replacing the Fun Run,” Erin Frank said about Dash to the Doc. 

Bee Well is finalizing plans for the 2018 Fun Run program, which will likely start closer to the beginning of school in August. 

A goal to install outdoor exercise equipment at Twin Lakes Park in the vicinity of Tiger Falls Splash Park and the All-Abilities Playground is stymied by the search for funds.

“The exercise equipment will give parents a way to work out while their kids are playing rather than sitting there and being on their phones,” said Cornwell.

She added the exercise area could be as big or as small as funding dictates. 

“Our plan is to start small with three pieces of cardio equipment,” Cornwell said.

Equipment can be costly since it is constructed for outdoor use and exposure to all kinds of weather. A stationary bike from one manufacturer is $1,000 and an elliptical machine is more than $4,000.

Christina Hoffman is doing the legwork of researching grants to fund the project.

“The problem is the grants I’m finding won’t pay for equipment,” said Hoffman, adding she is still looking.

Something on the drawing boards is the placement of yard signs with brief sayings to encourage a healthy life style. Similar to the candidate placards that popup every election season the Bee Well signs will serve as a reminder for everyone to take charge of their health.

Again the issue is finding the money to pay for printing the signs and also locating people willing to place them in their yards. Hoffman suggested seeking sponsors to pay for a set number of signs and in return the signs will feature a sponsor’s corporate logo.

“We need to find a point person to work on this,” said Mary Liz Wright.

The Prairie Press

101 Central Avenue Paris, IL 61944