Community Wellness Day attracts hundreds

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

By Olivia Alveshere
ABC Newspapers

In its ninth year, Community Wellness Day continues to expand in the Anoka-Hennepin School District.
The event returned to Roosevelt Middle School in Blaine Jan. 21 and attracted hundreds of families.

Cheryl Mendez with Anoka County’s Child and Teen Checkups program quizzes, from left to right, Ava Smalley, 6; Maggie Ohland, 8; and Ella Smalley, 3, on the food groups. The Child and Teen Checkups program was one of dozens of exhibitors at Community Wellness Day Jan. 21. (Photo by Olivia Alveshere)
Cheryl Mendez with Anoka County’s Child and Teen Checkups program quizzes, from left to right, Ava Smalley, 6; Maggie Ohland, 8; and Ella Smalley, 3, on the food groups. The Child and Teen Checkups program was one of dozens of exhibitors at Community Wellness Day Jan. 21. (Photo by Olivia Alveshere)

“There are so many components to wellness,” said Jennifer Gilbert, wellness specialist with Anoka-Hennepin Community Education.

Jerrid Sebesta, former meteorologist on KARE-11 who now works as a financial planner and motivational speaker, was the keynote speaker at Anoka-Hennepin’s Community Wellness Day. (Photo by Olivia Alveshere)
Jerrid Sebesta, former meteorologist on KARE-11 who now works as a financial planner and motivational speaker, was the keynote speaker at Anoka-Hennepin’s Community Wellness Day. (Photo by Olivia Alveshere)

The event, free for families, has traditionally focused on exercise and nutrition, but this year, activities were broader.
Keynote speaker Jerrid Sebesta, a former KARE-11 meteorologist turned financial planner and motivational speaker, addressed financial wellness and how that contributes to overall wellness and living the dream.
Sebesta explained that a lot of people thought he was crazy to leave KARE-11 with no job lined up.
“I’m living the dream right now; on paper, I’ve failed,” Sebesta said. “Living the dream has more to do with purpose and mission.”
When he was at KARE-11, he was focused on himself, and now he has the ability to focus on others and help people, he said.
He encouraged audience members to look at everything in their lives and their actions and ask, “Are those things pushing you closer to the life you want?”

eila Snell helps Adriana Bergerson, 6, practice her archery skills. (Photo by Olivia Alveshere)
eila Snell helps Adriana Bergerson, 6, practice her archery skills. (Photo by Olivia Alveshere)

New this year was the opportunity for kids to read with a dog and participate in a 45-minute art class, promoting mental wellness.

Oliver Kreiman, 1, plays with his grandfather Jon Yankovec at Community Wellness Day Jan. 21. (Photo by Olivia Alveshere)
Oliver Kreiman, 1, plays with his grandfather Jon Yankovec at Community Wellness Day Jan. 21. (Photo by Olivia Alveshere)

As in past years, many opportunities to be active were scheduled all day long.
AKA Sports sponsored archery, soccer and floor hockey in the school’s back gym.
Fitness classes, including Sit Fit, Family Yoga, Samba Line Dane and Rock Your Workout, were scheduled throughout the day in the lower gym.
Three nature walks were scheduled to take families around school grounds to look for animal tracks, keep an eye out for birds and more.

Family Yoga had Reba Beres, 6, striking a pose. (Photo by Olivia Alveshere)
Family Yoga had Reba Beres, 6, striking a pose. (Photo by Olivia Alveshere)

Dozens of exhibitors were on hand to provide health screenings, distribute information and more.
The family book and DVD swap occurred as usual.
The day concluded with free open swim from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
“It’s a way for Community Education to say thank you to the community,” Gilbert said.

Contact Olivia Alveshere at [email protected]