'Healthiest Town' steps up this Saturday in OV - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

'Healthiest Town' steps up this Saturday in OV

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Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 1:27 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

A quest to make Oro Valley and the Northwest “the healthiest town in America” hits a benchmark Saturday, with a package of events at Oro Valley Marketplace.

Upwards of 40 tents are going to set up at Oro Valley Marketplace, near the Olive Garden Restaurant, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. They'll be filled by representatives of dance studios, doctors, dentists, fitness facilities, food vendors, spas, equipment businesses and more. There are giveaways, and a chance to win a bicycle.

“I never thought it was going to be this big,” said Dr. Bob Oro, who has been a driving force of The Healthiest Town in America initiative with his wife Deb. But, with the help of a 32-member committee and numerous sponsors, “it has just exploded.”

The first 200 people who register for a fun walk and run receive free pedometers. Sign-up starts at 9:45 a.m.

Mayor Paul Loomis makes formal proclamation at 10 a.m.

Nordine Zourage, a former Mr. Universe and a motivational speaker, addresses the group at 10:30.

LaTanya Sheffield, an Olympic 400-meter hurdler and fitness enthusiast, takes the stage at 10:50. Sheffield “does amazing stuff,” in particular educating students about the importance of being fit, Oro said. “She's a great motivational speaker.”

Officer Shawn Benjamin, a student resource officer at Canyon Del Oro High School, talks about drug awareness at 11:10. From there, interactive fitness activities and demonstrations are planned on the main stage.

“This is the birthing process,” Oro said of Saturday's public kick-off. “We become an entity. The whole last 2-1/2 years has been about building credibility. Year 1, we'll have a whole bunch of things on the schedule.

“Hopefully …. once people see this, they'll know we're serious about it,” Oro said. “They'll get more involved, and we'll have more events through the year to keep people going and have healthy lifestyles.”

Vestar touts riparian restoration project

A project billed as “the largest environmental restoration in Oro Valley history” is being celebrated this Saturday, during Healthiest Town in America activities at Oro Valley Marketplace.

Vestar Development Company, the firm building Oro Valley's largest commercial development, has restored riparian habitat along Big Wash at the project's western boundary.

The site, southwest of Tangerine and Oracle roads, became ranchland in the 1950s. Vestar, along with the Pima County Regional Flood Control District and the town of Oro Valley, cooperated on the plans to recontour and revegetate the Big Wash floodplain. They hope to make the area “a haven for wildlife and the people in our community,” a release said.

The project is up for mention at 10 a.m. Saturday.

THE EVENT

WHAT: Healthiest Town in America

WHEN: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17

WHERE: Oro Valley Marketplace, near the Olive Garden

DETAILS: Tents, demonstrations, drawings, motivational speakers, a 5K run/walk, activities for the kids, health screenings and more.

ONLINE: healthiesttowninamerica.com

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