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In February 2012 planning began for a Let’s Move! Style ‘community wellness experience’ for July. The collaborative planning team started with member/entrepreneurs of the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce including Ebrahim Rad, Sr. Financial Planner, New York Life Co.; Ingrid Cheng, Yoga Teacher/Owner, Fit&Twist Health; Jackie Keller, President/Co-Founder, NutriFit LLC. They’’d be joined by on-air Fitness Coach Luis Alberto Aracena from global Spanish-language Univision Media Group based in West LA. This diverse group enthusiastically worked together to lay the foundation for your 4.5 successful years of producing community health events by our many volunteer members of Let’s Move! West LA.

Our team of ‘health ambassadors’ set a tone of discipline, acceptance & kindness to represent First Lady Michelle Obama’s  National Let’s Move! Initiative.  Mrs. Obama was a multi-career success as corporate attorney, city planning commissioner, university dean of students and as corporate hospital executive.  In early 2010, First Lady Obama launched a user-friendly information-packed website, LetsMove.Gov.  Our planning followed directives/suggestions under the website’s ‘Take Action section’ with it’s program concept,’...empower your community to… organize a Wellness Council.’ 

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Founding Team Leaders: Len Nguyen, Senior Field Deputy, Council Members District 11 Bill Rosendahl & Mike Bonin; Natalie (Lawson) Eden, former Program Manager, Connections For Children; Francesca Vergara, Researcher, UCLA; Ilaan Mazzini, Director/Founder, Family Dance Jam; Ron Kato, Executive Director, MOA Wellness Center/Health Commission Member, City of LA; Victoria Genise, Master Zumba & Dance Instructor; Dion Jackson, Personal Trainer/Founder Let’s Move! Hollywood; Kerri Reich-Einers, Master Teacher, University High School/Small Schools Director, School of Health & Environmental Sciences; Rae Jin, Associate Director, Westchester Family YMCA/former Healthy Living Director, Westside Family YMCA; Meghan Sahli-Wells, City Council Member/Former Mayor, Culver City;

The Let’s Move! Website suggested that as we sought to establish a local wellness council we’d connect with collaboration-oriented community health advocates willing to help produce a series of exciting health events. At the same time we promoted the Let’s Move! Mission, ‘...eliminate the tragedy of childhood obesity within a generation’.  

Our events consistently offered the community fun, easy, affordable options designed to ‘...upgrade daily patterns of fitness, nutrition and wellness.’ Events were designed with all categories of family members involved, parents, children and seniors of ANY age level. Always our events were free and the public was invited and made to feel especially welcomed.  Whether outdoors in parks, at neighborhood farmers markets OR indoors at schools, churches or neighborhood meetings, we brought community members together, to share in group activity and an array of active learning opportunity with a Let’s Move! challenge. We want to strengthen the understanding that demystifies good health into a simple more compelling topic!

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We presented numerous expert resource leaders with expertise in a wide range of fitness, nutrition and wellness topics. Top row: Cynthia Pacheco, formerly, Connections For Children; Omari Bernard is completing study for his PhD in Exercise & Sport Science at University of Florida;  Skye Kelly, Director/Founder, Heal One World/Director/Founder Awareness Film Festival; John King, Co-Host-Fitness For Every Life; LaTasha Lyons, Coordinator/Founder, FunFIT CA;  Jeanne Kuntz, Wellness Coach - Founder, Teaching Wellness, Member, Green Committee-Mar Vista Community Council; Claire DeGarde, Garden Resource Volunteer, EnrichLA; Althea Moses, AM Health & Fitness Company/1996 Olympian; Elizabeth Batalao, Food Services Director, California Endowment Bldg/former Dietician Coordinator, Motor Ave Farmers Market; Beverley Vigil, Adapted PE Teacher LAUSD; Mai Pham, formerly Connections For Children; Michele Fonke, Dietician &  Coordinator Event Hospitality; De Jur Jones, Yoga Teacher/Airline Flight Attendant; Julia Morales, Program Specialist, Connections For Children; Michelle Dodson, Director, Healthy Lifestyle Programs, Westside Family YMCA; Dr. Alison Hermann, Associate Director, UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center For Health Equity;  Lise & Anne Skovbo, UCLA Interns/Co-Coordinators Events & Marketing; Jayne Pan, UCLA Intern/Coordinator, Online Marketing; Bibimbap Backpackers nutrition student leaders from So. Korea; Lise (Rogers) Ximenez, Co-founder D FORCE For Life, diabetes management system; Rufus Dorsey, Actor-Entrepreneur/Fitness Trainer/Diabetes Management Educator; June & Jerry Caldwell, Thrill The World LA; Teresa Anne Power, Children’s Yoga Specialist/Yoga Book Author; Phi Van , Community Nutritionist, The Wellness Do/formerly Program Manager, Connections For Children.

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Our events relied upon special skills in planning, leadership & teamwork. We were truly Blessed to have

 (l-r) Lise and Anne Skovbo, and Michele Fonke for high-quality staff.

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We begin: Mar. 2012 1st meeting Stoner Park - Apr. 2012 1st event Head Start - May 2012 presentation at West LA Neighborhood Council

A Word About Mokichi Okada Association Wellness Center USA - With origins in the 1930’s, MOA operates state-of-the-Art integrative-health service centers throughout Japan with 15 Centers worldwide. Their basic program of wellness is built upon the theme of Living in Harmony with Nature. This Thank You for their work alongside us and for their deep, enduring friendship & support made our Let’s Move! a more pleasant and health-producing experience.

Ron Kato, Executive Director, MOA Wellness with Virginia - Dr. Virginia Kato, MD. at Open House - Kato sons with Ron - Natural Farming near Fresno     

 June 2012 1st LAUSD event - June 2012 Let’s Move! Conference at 1st AME Church with Dr. Toni Yancey, MD. - A Let’s Move! National Board Member.

July 2012 Mar Vista Park event with KMEX TV34 News - KMEX Reporter, Cecilia Brogan - July 2012 wk 2 of KMEX TV Let’s Move! promo

July 2012 wk 3 KMEX TV Let’s Move! promo - Family Dance Jam led a workshop - July 27th 2012 Team Photo ‘Community Wellness Experience’

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Aug. 2012 Stoner Pk Fitness event - Aug. 2012 Lead Team Natalie, Dion, Luis, Ingrid in new T-Shirts - Sept. 2012 MOA Wellness Center

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 Dec. 2012  Planning Meeting - Feb. 2013 University High Health & Fitness Fair - Apr. 2013 1st Annual UCLA/BPHO Youth Health Festival

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May 2013 Beverly & Luis at Southeast High School Spring 5K - Luis Alberto leads 450 at SoEast High in warmups - Sept 2013 West LA Farmers Mkt Wellness Fair Len presents Cert. of Appreciation to Ron Kato, Executive at MOA Wellness Center - Westside Family YMCA Trainer leadon-stage training & market shoppers got involved

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June 2013 West LA Farmers Mkt Wellness Fair - Aug 2013 OC’s John King with Skye at MOA - Sept 2013 Earth Day Team at  WLA College - Oct 2013 at Del Rey Days

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Oct 2013 ‘Thrill The World/LA’ dancers at Del Rey Days - Del Rey Days planning group -  Nov. 2013 Adapted PE Teachers Conference at Irvine Hyatt

Dec. 2013 Garden Team Planning - Jan. 2014 Garden Team visits ‘Food Forest’ at University High - Feb. 2014 Garden Team Irrigation DEMO at Uni High Food Forest

Feb 2014 Our 2nd School of Health & Environmental Sciences Health & Fitness Fair - Energetic ‘JUMP’ at the Health & Fitness Fair

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Apr 2014 2nd UCLA/BPHO Youth Health Festival Fitness Team - Black Pre-Health Organization planning committee - event leadership

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May 2014 Founding-member Chef Jackie Keller offered monthly ‘Chef’s Move! To School’ Healthy Cooking Classes at Uni High

May 2014 LaTasha Lyons connected with a class project at CSU Long Beach - May 2014 Group photo at CSU Long Beach’s ‘Let’s Move! Clinic’

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Mar 2014 Planning monthly Wellness Fairs for Motor Ave Farmers Market - June 2014 UCLA members meeting with Market Managers

May - Sept 2014 At Motor Ave Farmers Market we provided shoppers with info to upgrade household patterns of fitness - nutrition - wellness

 

May-Sept 2014 intro meeting with  Bibimbap Backpackers at Motor Ave - Motor Ave Mkt staff promotes Let’s Move! - Althea Moses had some shoppers jumping

May 2014 Family Health Fair Team at South LA Head Start with Children’s Institute Inc. who operates 25 Head Start Centers in LA

Aug 2014 Our team competed in the 93rd Annual Long Beach Sand Castle Contest - we ‘planted’ our Let’s Move! Logo in the sand

Aug 2014 this unique event had an audience of 10,000 - 12,000 strolling beachgoers, many who cheered at our Let’s Move! logo

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Aug 2014 Team Lead Planning Meeting - Sept 2014 Team photo at Childhood Obesity Awareness Event - EnrichLA DEMO’d seedling plantings

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Sept 2014 Bibimbap Backpackers served healthy snack bowls to all - Michele Fonke enjoys her Bibimbap with a friend - Oct 2014 Premier of ‘The UNI Project’

Oct 2014 - ‘The UNI Project’ followed students learning to make/enjoy healthy smoothies. Kerri (with her sons) as well as  University High School students/staff attended  - Let’s Move! Founding-member Ebrahim Rad attended with a guest - Member Teachers from Brentwood Elementary attended

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Oct 2014 Members Monica, Cynthia, Julia from Connections For Children attended - David Wolfe, Popular Nutritionist/Vegan & NutriBullet spokesperson was on-hand to congratulate Kerri and give out NutriBullets who  sponsored of the health film project - Dec 2014 3rd Annual Leaders Planning Meeting

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Nov 2014 Member Skye Kelly organized a Health Fair with her mid-City Neighborhood Council - LaTasha and the local community got involved 

Feb 2014 Created by Mike & LaTasha Lyons, the Heavenly Vision Church Health Fair was enhanced with great music - USC students did health screenings

Feb 2015 - Skye Kelly with Althea Moses lead workshops - Great time serving the church & surrounding community -  Althea representing

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Apr 2015 - Partners Bibimbap Backpackers served Korea’s national health dish, ‘Bibimbap’ at 3rd Uni High Health & Fitness Fair - Apr 2015 A Brentwood Walk (Henry & Ingrid), coincided with Brentwood Science Magnet Elementary School’s Family Fair with member/Principal Aleta Parker-Taylor on hand

Mar 2015 - We ran the Water Station #23 for the LA Marathon - Mar 2015 - Althea & Ingrid at an MOA Wellness Center Open House

Mar 2015 - Events Team at Open House - fantastic healthy organic food - Apr 2015 Student organizers for UCLA/BPHO Youth Health Fest

Apr 2015 LaTasha with daughter, Monica at Youth Health Fest - Dion Jackson was ‘on-fire’ as usual - UCLA’s FITTED student Trainers led sessions all-day

At Youth Health Fest Olympian Althea Moses was popular for autographs - UCLA Admissions Ambassadors taught/led the Bruin Cheer

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May 2015 World Games Team meeting - July 2015 Fitness session at Brentwood Lululemon to promote World Games attendance

July 2015 in preparation for World Games LA2015 Founding-member Ingrid organized 2 fitness events with Althea leading the Lululemon training

July 2015 At UCLA’s Tennis Center Ingrid & Althea cheer on Special Olympics competitors - Great Team support brought out Ron Kato and MOA  members

July 2015 for 3 days we converged at UCLA for World Games LA2015. First Lady Obama inspired with her Opening Speech before a crowd of 88,000 at LA’s Memorial Coliseum. Thanks goes to Team Leads Ingrid Cheng, Lisa & Anne Skovbo and our Olympian Althea Moses who scored extra tickets to the SOLD OUT Grand Opening March of (108) National Teams, Stevie Wonder Concert and exciting fireworks celebration!  

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July 2015 A Neighborhood Council Pico Blvd Clean-UP Day featured our Partners, Bibimbap Backpackers - Aug 2015 2nd Childhood Obesity Awareness Event was planned by City City Council Member/former Mayor/former CEO-Downtown Culver Neighborhood Assn, Meghan Sahli-Wells with Rev Leonardo Wilborn, Culver-Palms United Methodist Church & Phi Van, formerly Connections For Children.

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Aug 2015 Planning Obesity Awareness event - Aug 2015 Our Childhood Obesity Awareness event generated a Culver City Council Proclamation (Thanks Council Member, Meghan Sahli-Wells)  that was formally presented to Event organizer Phi Van Ha, LaTasha Lyons and daughter Monica.

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Sept 2015 - Childhood Obesity Awareness event included Culver Palms YMCA, Choose Health LA Kids at Connections For Children conference room - Team photo

Nov 2015 Phi Van led a discussion for National Diabetes Awareness Month in Kerri’s University High class

Dec 2015 4th Annual Planning Group - We met at LA Council Member Bonin’s conference room - UCLA’s Dr. Alison Herrmann (center) was Guest Speaker

Jan 2016 Chef Jackie Keller led a healthy cooking class at Westside Family YMCA - And the class definitely enjoyed Chef Jackie’s recipes

Jan 2016 Choose Health LA Kids staff in an office meeting - Mar 2016  in prep for Intl Kids Yoga Day we synchronized Nutrition & Yoga training

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Mar 2016 Great vibes generated by Nutrition Educators from Choose Health LA Kids with Teresa Anne Power of ABC’s of Yoga for Kids

Apr 2016 - Kids Yoga Day session led by LaTasha Lyons & Michele Fonke at a childcare center in Long Beach. Over 25,000 kids were involved worldwide.

Apr 2016 An excellent outreach effort led by Gabriela Perez (far left) of Choose Health LA Kids - Healthy Restaurant options is the goal of this program by Los Angeles County Dept of Public Health (staff pictured right) at the Restaurant Grand RE-Opening with Healthy Family-menu choices

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Apr 2016 Prepping for our 4th Uni High Health & Fitness Fair meant meeting with the Parents group - LAUSD is blessed with Exceptional Teachers like member Kerri Eich-Reiners (with husband & 1 of 2  sons) - Bibimbap Backpackers helped all create nutrition with their colorful/tasty bowls

 MOA Wellness Center’s Amanda offered flower arranging - Teresa introduced teens to Yoga poses -  Teaching Wellness’ Jeanne Kuntz help better connect kids with veggies

 

Apr 2016 - founding member, Ebrahim Rad, Senior Financial Rep-New York Life Co. discussed family ‘financial wellness’ - student chefs served dinner with produce from the school garden - Phi Van offered nutrition info. The crowd (500+) received a true multi-dimensional experience in options to upgrade patterns of fitness - nutrition - wellness.

Apr 2016 Students of UCLA’s Black Pre-Health Organization are future healthcare professionals. For the our 4th year we help them learn practical outreach solutions with UCLA/BPHO Youth Health Festival  - Olympian Althea Moses led several sessions at the daycamp-like event - Psycho-Biology major, Sarah Marie Stauffer was 2016 Planning Chair.

April 2016 - mealtime break between active-learning workshops - UCLA’s FITTED are students training to be trainers - Fun, memorable day at UCLA

June 2016 - Another Ingrid Cheng event brought in contact with the United Nations-sponsored International Day of Yoga  - Great teachers offered FREE yoga at a Sundays Motor Ave Farmers Mkt.

June 2016 - Leaders from Palms Neighborhood Council (Len Nguyen) gave a formal opening - Nonstop Yoga from there on for families of ALL ages

Oct 2016 - Our 3rd Childhood Obesity Awareness workshop was made possible by Choose Health LA Kids - we opened with Ingrid Cheng’s Yoga training

Oct 2016 - Yoga Teacher, Ingrid in pose - Chef Jackie’s class is not be missed - Culver City Council Member Meghan Sahli-Wells took time to attend

After her DEMO Chef Jackie served her tasty-healthy dish - Jeanne Kuntz Wellness Coach, brought some active-wellness tips - Julia Morales, Connections For Children stressed the importance of accessing quality childcare resources to help growing families - great time had by all

Oct 2016 LA County’s Boys & Girls Clubs have 26 Centers - At UCLA we led day-long Yoga sessions to introduce 1200 teens to Yoga fitness poses.

UCLA student trainer, Monica posing with Equinox Trainer, Rufus Dorsey, were great role models for the teens & a great support for Yoga Teachers, Emmett Power, Teresa Anne Power & De Jur Jones

Yoga Teacher, De Jur Jones made the Yoga sessions highly approachable for the teens - A major success thanks to planning by Teresa & De Jur

Don’t Try This At Home?

Exceptional individuals with highly developed collaborative skills made 4.5 years of Let’s Move West LA happen. We each shared Mrs. Obama’s vision with our collaborative planning & action. We wanted to be part of this massive promotion for community health UPgrades that took place in 450 cities & towns with Let’s Move! Action nationwide.

Using general guidelines on the LetsMove.Gov website we were motivated & empowered by the First Lady’s February 2010 annoucement for the Let’s Move! National Initiative ‘...to end childhood obesity within our generation’.

Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork is the only way we made it. Our record is strong: how many operations (non-profit or otherwise) can successfully produce interesting public health and fitness promotions almost twice per month at no charge to an engaging diverse populous.

You were the right people willing & able to create something really Great.  The many satisfying & pleasing long-term friendships were a surprising bonus. Sincere Thanks for being that Special One we needed.

I sure had a lot of fun!

Respectfully submitted - Dec 2016

Henry Edward Hall

Events/Volunteer Coordinator

Let’s Move! West LA