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The Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department in Charlotte, North Carolina, started its "Walk for Life" senior walking program on July 1, 1999. This program culminated with a mall walk where the participants tested their endurance by walking from Charlotte to the local outlet mall. As an incentive, stores in the mall agreed to donate prizes to those who walked the farthest. A partnership was established with Presbyterian Hospital to offer a variety of health screenings for program participants. A nutritional lunch program was also coordinated with the walking program to provide education on healthy eating. As a result of this program, department staff expected to see an increased number of seniors participate in the very popular North Carolina Senior Games.

For the 2,000 youths involved in the summer day camp programs, the department focused on the health benefits of participating in lifelong sports like tennis. Staff training at this site included presentations on the physical education curriculum from CATCH, heart-healthy eating, and USA Tennis demonstrations that featured tennis as a lifelong sport. The Presbyterian Health Team created posters and taught nutrition to the children. As part of their activities, the kids participated in a hearty lunch program that challenged them to "go around the world in 80 days." Winners were awarded prizes and coupons to go to "active" places such as bowling alleys and skating rinks. As a result of the success of this program, nutrition classes are now being provided in the after-school programs.


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