Moooove Over, Matsunaga Milk Runners Coming Through

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The Matsunaga/Longview PTA announces the second Annual Milk Run and Health Fair Inspired by First Lady’s Initiative to Fight Childhood Obesity

Matsunaga Milk Run and Health Fair

2nd Annual Matsunaga Milk Run and Health Fair

“Last year, our inaugural run and fair were met with such incredible enthusiasm from students, families, and the community that this year we’ve been able to double our participation,” said MES Parent Teacher Association President Kim Penn.

More than 600 Spark M. Matsunaga Elementary School (SMES) students, parents and staff will participate in the second annual Matsunaga Milk Run and Health Fair, an event inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative against childhood obesity. The event is scheduled for June 1, 2012 from 5 pm to 8 pm around the King Barn Dairy MOOseum on the grounds of the South Germantown Recreational Park.

“Last year, our inaugural run and fair were met with such incredible enthusiasm from students, families, and the community that this year we’ve been able to double our participation,” said MES Parent Teacher Association President Kim Penn. “We know childhood obesity rates are on the rise, and that many children spend their after-school time doing sedentary activities, so it’s great to see that one of our most popular events is one that gets them outside and reminds them that physical activity is fun and feels great.”

The Matsunaga Milk Run was created in response to the “Let’s Move!” initiative, which was launched in 2010 to get children moving and on the path toward healthier lifestyles. According to “Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese.”

The MOOseum serves as an ideal location for the event because it highlights Montgomery County’s rich dairy farming history and because of the important roles milk and dairy foods play in a healthy diet, and it is a short distance from the elementary school. The event got its name from dairy farmers, who would go on what they called a “milk run” when they took their milk to market.

“It’s such a wonderful thing to see our kids excited about an event that is so good for them and promotes a healthy lifestyle,” said MES Principal Judy Brubaker. “As they run, they are cheered by family and friends, and when they cross that finish line, every one of them is celebrated for what they’ve accomplished. It drives home the importance of not just including physical activity in your daily life, but setting challenging goals for yourself and achieving them.”

Participants will traverse along ½-, one-, or two-mile “fun run” courses around the complex and will receive medals as they cross the finish line.

Primary Milk Run sponsor Montgomery Tennisplex (MTP) will conduct a tennis demonstration as part of the health fair. Led by Hall of Fame Coach Jack Schore, the Tennisplex will open adjacent to the MOOseum in September 2012. It will feature eight new indoor courts, four new outdoor courts and high quality tennis instruction and programs for all age groups.

MTP is currently partnering with SMES to conduct before-school tennis classes at the school. In the fall, it will offer before- and after-school programs both at the Tennisplex and at SMES. According to Schore, “the partnership with SMES was a ‘match made in heaven.’ SMES was looking for a sport for the students on an individual basis that they could learn and play long after graduation. We love kids and want to get them started properly so they can develop their skills and enjoy playing tennis for a lifetime. We’re helping to help guide them in a variety of positive, healthy ways to lead great lives.”

Additionally, the health fair will feature fitness demonstrations from Freestate Gymnastics, Shoola-Hoop Hoola Hooping and Kicks Karate, and Anytime Fitness will take runners through pre-run stretching. Kid favorite DJ Drew will be back to keep the crowd dancing and moving. Whole Foods will provide post-race bananas and South Mountain Creamery will distribute milk to participants. Children’s National Mobile Unit, Children’s Ambulatory Surgery Center and the new upcounty Children’s Imaging Center will dispense health information.

Additional sponsors include: National Fatherhood Initiative and Family Dentistry of Buckeystown Pike. Trumpet Marketing Group, Bar-T, TK Sports Camp, Kohl’s, Sheehan Orthodontics and Dr. Bob Testen (Pediatric Dentistry) have also signed on as sponsors. Suburban Bros., Maui Wowi, Kabaji Grill, Cole’s Palette and South Mountain Creamery will offer healthy food options for purchase.

“We hope other schools will see how much fun we’re having, and will choose to organize events at their schools,” said Penn. “Our children’s health and futures are a priority.”

About Spark Matsunaga Elementary School:
Serving more than 1,000 students, Spark M. Matsunaga Elementary School (SMES) is the largest elementary school in Montgomery County and is one of the largest in the state of Maryland. Located in Germantown, SMES opened in 2001 and is headed by Principal Judy Brubaker, recipient of the 2011 Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award.

About the Montgomery Tennisplex (MTP):
The Montgomery Tennisplex, opening in Fall 2012, will provide upcounty residents of Montgomery County with brand new, state-of-the-art tennis facilities, and high quality tennis instruction and programming. Featuring eight indoor and four outdoor tennis courts, and led by Hall-of-Fame Coach Jack Schore, MTP will join the tapestry of recreational facilities at the South Germantown Recreational Park.

About the King Barn Dairy MOOseum:
The King Barn Dairy MOOseum is a dairy heritage museum dedicated to interpreting the rich history of the farms, families and related organizations and business of Montgomery County, Md. The MOOseum features a permanent collection of interactive exhibits and educational programs.

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Kim Summers
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