Remember block parties, community fairs - great neighborhood events we participated in as children and may now organize as adults? Well I had the honor of participating in a fantastic neighborhood party at the White House yesterday ... the annual Easter Egg Roll. What a day!
Children led their parents through a maze of activities, the hunt for eggs, practice drills with the Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Tennis with Billie Jean King , hula-hoop dancing (ok I tried and it was not a pretty sight- how did I do this as a child), readings by J.K. Rowling, basketball with the President, enjoying music with the First Lady, Sasha and Malia (the cast of Glee performed, I enjoyed it - does that mean I too am a GLEEK, hmmmm), and oh yes, the food!
The food booths were heavily attended - not too surprising at these types of events, right? Well what impressed me most was the type of food that people couldn't get enough of ... apples, bananas, smoothies, there were exhibits for making your own garden and healthy carbonated juice drinks (everyone loved the carbonated orange and agreed, better than orange soda, who knew?)
The First Family, particularly the First Lady, provided a great venue to illuminate messages on healthy eating, demonstrating how easy it can be to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. When I think about it, all the components that contribute to building healthy communities were available. While not all neighborhood events can have nationally known celebrity participation, there are many local celebrities who have achieved their dreams like singing with a local band, participating in a school play, playing a sport, writing an article for a neighborhood paper (or nowadays, writing a blog) weight loss, overcoming a chronic disease, helping others to achieve their dreams ...
My day at the White House felt like a day amongst family and friends (I actually ran into a few - very cool)! It affirmed that building healthier communities is not difficult. We just need to be more aware of our local resources, join those who are committed to making a difference to help us live healthier lives and celebrate those around us who have achieved and are achieving their goals. Thank you First Family for setting a great example and a fabulous block party!