2016 Community Wellness Expo
On July 23, more than 100 Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members started off their Saturday morning by attending the 2016 Community Wellness Expo, held at Salt River High School. As soon as participants registered, the first 100 attendees received colorful beach towels. They also earned a chance to participate in the prize raffles that took place throughout the day and a chance to win the 3+3 = grand prize.
The Wellness Expo is an opportunity for Community members to learn about making healthy lifestyle changes to become more aware of the benefits of living healthy. Through short 20 minute sessions, individuals are able to experience techniques to enhance their knowledge in healthy cooking, exercise, nutrition and listening to speakers on personal triumphs. The Wellness Expo is held to inspire and motivate individuals to begin or enhance their wellness through options that best suit their interest.
In the general session, guest speaker LeAndra Bitsie, CEO and founder of Inspire Motivate Lead (IML) Training Inc., spoke about “Revitalizing Attitudes and Ambition Through Wellness.” Bitsie included a few ice-breakers and interactive activities. She asked, “How many are proud to be from a strong culture and from Salt River? If so, stand up!
“Look around at one another,” said Bitsie. “Realize [that], regardless of age, family background [or] level of life experience, this is what you have in common.” She discussed how many people in Native communities are quick to say they are proud of their culture.
“There is a difference between what it is that you believe and what you say vs. what it is that you are actually demonstrating,” said Bitsie. “You have the opportunity to show your best self.”
She then had everyone stand and repeat: “Today I will not be boring. I will show my Native pride. Today right now I am proud of who I am, and right now I am going to act like it.”
Bitsie then gave the crowd 60 seconds to greet as many people as they could and make them smile. She had everyone partner up and introduce themselves to each other, and thank each other for being there. This exercise was to show appreciation towards one another.
During that 60 seconds, the attendees showed what they are capable of, Bitsie said. “And when you show yourself what you are capable of, in Native communities there are three things that happen. When you are asked to go with an opportunity, you will ask Why, you get Uncomfortable, and you Doubt Yourself.
“What you did in that 60 seconds was [like saying ‘I am proud of where [I] come from, and I am going to act like it, and I am going to show myself what I am capable of,’” said Bitsie.
She also discussed the concept of personal power. She explained power exists in how you choose to manage yourself on a daily basis, and your power lies within your emotions. For example, when you know somebody with a bad attitude, they tend to make it really difficult for life to be well, to be a good co-worker, family member, and so forth.
“I feel the Community needs to be well so we can enjoy each other,” said Community member Michelle Tenorio. Many others stood up and also shared their answers.
After the general session, everyone broke out to participate in the more than 30 workshops, which included Fitness 101, Zumba, chair volleyball, chair yoga, fitness apps for smart phones, healthy shopping and healthy cooking. Youth were dismissed to participate in the youth workout/workshop session in the gymnasium. Over 50 youth ages 8-14 participated in the youth session. A healthy lunch was also served.
To be eligible for the grand prize drawing, Community members had to attend two-exercise class and one nutrition or information session. Youth were to attend the youth component. Grand prizewinner’s for the Adult Male and Female went to Pacer Reina and Ki-ana Reina. Pacer received a treadmill and Ki-ana received a elliptical. Ki Richards won the grand prize for the boy category selecting a trampoline and the girl grand prizewinner has not selected her prize but has the choice of a trampoline, portable basketball hoop or bike.
The event was hosted by the Wellness Strategy Team. A team put together in February 2009, as one of six initiatives for the Community’s Strategic Plan project. The teams objectives were completed and the team dissolved. However, two thriving events emerged which continue today hosted by the initiating strategy team with the support of the Council; the Community Wellness EXPO and the Red Mountain Half Marathon.