I was director and coordinator for Loudon County’s largest community health event, 2011-2014.


Elementary and Middle school children climbed, stretched, kicked, ran, dribbled, jump roped and pedaled their way through Let’s Move Day in Lenoir City, an event focused on helping them get active in many different ways.

Part of the national Let’s Move initiative promoted by Michelle Obama and the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Lenoir City Adventist Church coordinated the event, which was also sponsored by the local hospital, Fort Loudoun Medical Center, and two local credit unions. The event featured 17 activity stations along .8 mile of city greenway. Children received free backpacks, frisbees and a medal for completing the events—they were also put into a drawing for free bicycles and a pool party.

Nearly 40 percent of Lenoir City Elementary School students are overweight or obese, offering an opportunity for the church to introduce a healthier way of life to the community in an appealing way, said Nancy Wheeler, health leader for the Lenoir City Adventist Church.

“It was a fun, fun day,” said Wheeler. “We enjoyed getting to interact with our community and show the children how fun it is to be active. We are praying for continued opportunities to build on this success—and we’re already talking about doing the event again next year!”

Stations featured different types of exercises as well as gardening, a fitness and medical check and a “make your own trail mix” stand. The stations were coordinated by organizations ranging from the University of Tennessee—which supplied a climbing wall, bike-powered smoothie maker and two college basketball players—to local businesses such as The Rush, Earth Fare, Curves and a TaeKwonDo instructor. Other participants included the Lenoir City school system and fire department, Southern Adventist University’s Gym Masters and Georgia Cumberland Health Ministries Director E.W. Dempsey.

About 30 volunteers operated the activities, and an additional 50 volunteers, both from the church and the local high school, helped with various other functions of the event.


Adventist church partners with UT, schools, parks to hold Lenoir City’s 2nd annual Let’s Move Day

LENOIR CITY, TN, September 12, 2012 — Following its award-winning debut last year, Let’s Move Day—Lenoir City is gearing up for more activities to help kids experience a healthier life.

The free event will be held 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, at Rock Springs Park and Wampler Keith Park in Lenoir City. The event is part of a national initiative coordinated by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in partnership with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, aimed at curbing childhood obesity.  

This year, the Lenoir City Adventist Church is partnering with the University of Tennessee Athletics department to put on the event. UT athletes will interact with participants in a variety of activities and encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle that promotes obesity prevention.

“We are very excited to be part of this important and exciting event for kids in East Tennessee,” said Rew Woodruff, UT assistant director for Career Development and Life Schools from the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center in the UT Athletic Department. “Lenoir City, the state of Tennessee and our nation have a high rate of child obesity, and our student-athletes are committed to showing kids how healthy living can be rewarding and fun.”

Other partners and sponsors include Lenoir City Schools’ Office of Coordinated School Health, the Lenoir City Family Resource Center, Lenoir City Parks and Recreation, Fort Loudoun Medical Center, the Tennessee Health Department and a number of other local business and organizations.

Children will complete a series of activity stations set up along the walking trail at Rock Springs Park and nearby Wampler Field that will focus on exercise and nutrition. Activities will include jump rope, longboarding, camping, fishing, a climbing wall, an obstacle course, martial arts, gymnastics, basketball and other sports. There will also be hands-on cooking, gardening and farming activities along with a basic medical and fitness check. Free prize packs will be given to the first 200 participants.

“We all need to work together as a community to address the health issues facing our young people, including childhood obesity,” said Mary Harding, health coordinator for the Lenoir City School system. “This collaborative event draws in so many of our local businesses, schools, and community agencies to provide an afternoon of fun for all.  We appreciate the Seventh Day Adventist Church for taking the lead and organizing such a beneficial day for our citizens. Last year's event was fun and informative and this year promises to be even better!”

Activity partners include UT, Earth Fare, Billy Lush Brand, Curves, The Rush, River Sports, Heartland Anglers, Complete Chiropractic and Wellness, Southern Adventist University, Greater Growth, Hines Valley Farm, Tennessee Department of Health, Loudon County Health Department and Bella Luna. Financial and in-kind sponsors include the Lenoir City Seventh-day Adventist Church, Complete Chiropractic and Wellness, Fort Loudoun Medical Center, ORNL Federal Credit Union, Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, First National Bank, LCUB, Meadow View Greenhouse and Garden Center, the Loudon County News-Herald, Food City in Lenoir City and the UPS Store.

For more information contact Larisa Brass at 865-385-5271. View last year’s video at


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