Springfield youths to present healthy living event Saturday

‘What’s Wellness?’ aims to improve community’s well being.

Credit: Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau

Credit: Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau

It’s an event that asks the question, “What’s Wellness?” The answer is a day of nine workshops promoting healthy lifestyle tools.

The workshops won’t be led by doctors, nutritionists, psychologists or professionals of any kind, but a group of teens and college students eager to improve the well-being of the Springfield community.

The first “What’s Wellness?” will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at various locations in downtown Springfield. The free family-friendly event is presented by Bringing Awareness to Students and Wittenberg University’s Youth Advocacy Class.

The idea for the program came through BATS member Dina Rulli-Heaphey, who was inspired by a state wellness experience, confident it could work at a local level.

“I love wellness and taking care of yourself in all aspects. Teens have a lot of stress and anxiety and we will show ways to deal with that,” said Rulli-Heaphey, a Springfield City Schools online student.

Mary Cunningham, a Ridgewood School eighth-grader, got involved with the first big BATS event, “Capture Kindness,” last year and was inspired to help with this. She and Rulli-Heaphey spent the past six months planning “What’s Wellness?”

Given the girls already have activities and academics and just started a new school year, it was a challenge, but one they were determined to see through.

“When you love something so much you want to do it. It was so intimidating, but we were so passionate about it,” Cunningham said. “This is about body, mind and soul, giving a way to express yourself through things like journaling and art and it’s all led by youth.”

They reached out to organizations and businesses to conduct the workshops, some will be outdoors and others inside, all within walking distance. It has meant negotiating and juggling, especially considering two other events will be downtown the same day.

If the planning wasn’t enough, the girls are also teaching multiple classes along with fellow BATS members. All workshops will last approximately 45 minutes and include:

Don’t Hesitate! Meditate!, 8 a.m. on the top floor of the downtown parking garage.

Pilates Workout, 9 a.m. at Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co.

Self Expression Through Art, 10 a.m. in front of the Rose City mural.

Journaling Your Way to Happiness, 11 a.m. at Winan’s, second floor.

Overcoming Adversity, noon at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Nutrition: Healthy Food, Healthy You!, 1 p.m. at Stella Bleu Bistro.

Choose Water, 2 p.m. at Courtyard by Marriott.

Talking to Teens About Social Media, 3 p.m. at COHatch, front room

Ready, Set. Go! Goal Setting, 4 p.m. at COHatch, front room

Children younger than 12 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian and certain workshops are only open to those older than 12. Workshop openings are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis and require signing up online.

Those attending indoor sessions are requested to wear masks or a free N95 masked will be given. Attendees will receive giveaways relating to each class at the end of each session.

Cunningham and Rulli-Heaphey said they’ve gotten a lot of interest from their peers.

“The youth-to-youth connection is so important, that says something,” Cunningham said. “(Saturday) is going to be so amazing.”

To sign up for a class or for more information, go to www.facebook.com/BringingAwarenessToStudents/.

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