Dr. Deb Oro was summoned to the stage at Saturday morning’s Healthiest Town in America event at Oro Valley Marketplace.
Appropriately, the Oro Valley dentist sprinted from a booth.
For more than 1,200 people, Saturday was a brisk walk through wellness opportunities, from workout techniques to health care advice.
Everyone of every age caught the spirit. Enrique Gonzalez, personal trainer at Fairwinds Desert Point, worked seniors through “chair aerobics,” using music and resistance straps to exercise arms and legs. Behind them, children scrambled up a ladder on an inflated playground.
Drs. Deb and Bob Oro, the event’s fast-paced energy centers, were “ecstatic” with the turnout and the results. He handed out 950 buttons in two hours. More than 50 tents and tables were occupied by people giving information. Nearly 100 raffle prizes were distributed.
“We wanted it to be clean, friendly and positive,” Oro said. “So far, all of the evaluation forms have come back extremely positive. People asked to be on the committee. We’re hoping to grow the event.”
Healthiest Town volunteers handed out 200 free pedometers. The Oros encouraged people to “try to do 10,000 steps a day.”
Mike Reuwsaat, the former Marana town manager who is now director of the Northwest YMCA, is one of several at the Y counting his paces with a pedometer. He’s had a high day of 17,000 steps.
“It was a lot that day,” he said. “I was tired.” But he’s dropping pounds in the new job. “I walk a lot now,” Reuwsaat said. “It’s not a sedentary life.”
Certainly, LaTanya Sheffield leads a life on the move. The 1988 Seoul Olympian operates Sports Extravaganza Sports Clinic, a youth clinic intended to fight childhood obesity and develop life skills through athletics. Sheffield, an Olympic finalist in the 400-meter hurdles, looks like she could still compete 20 years later. On Saturday, she put Golder Ranch firefighters and youngsters through their jump-rope paces, jumping non-stop — and really fast — for 30 seconds.
Bruce Bucher, site director at Fairwinds Desert Point, walked from the La Reserve facility to Oro Valley Marketplace on Saturday. It’s about 45 minutes. Residents and employees at the facility are recording steps via pedometer.
Mayor Paul Loomis had a plaque for the Oros in recognition of their efforts.
“First of all, I want to say this is my husband’s idea,” Deb Oro said. His enthusiasm caught hold, though. She thanked in particular M.J. Jensen and Kevin Miller for their work.
“The good news is, we’re going to live to 95,” Bob Oro said. “The bad news is, we’re going to live to 95.”
Oro, who’s lost 18-1/2 pounds in the last year and a half by walking more and eating less, believes Oro Valley is the perfect place to promote well-being. “Look at Oro Valley,” with its mountains, weather and economic vitality, he said. “If you can’t make it happen here …”
Making it happen in the Northwest is at the core of the Healthiest Town in America initiative.
“Now that people know what it is, that makes it a lot easier for us to move forward and grow the event,” Oro said. “We’ll keep it going, and next year try to make it a little bigger, a little better.”