Relay for Healthy Aging walk brings together seniors, teens
PAWTUCKET – When seniors and students from across the city gather together at Max Read Field on Saturday morning, they’ll be partnering for a walk that’s about much more than getting in a few steps. The two generations of city residents will also be raising funds for the local senior center while learning valuable life lessons from one another.
The fifth-annual Relay for Healthy Aging will once again step off at Max Read Field this Saturday starting at 9 a.m. The walk, sponsored by the Pawtucket Senior Citizens Council, pairs students from Tolman and Shea high school’s cross-country teams with seniors from the Leon A. Mathieu Senior Center to benefit programming and services offered at the Main Street center.
The walk will take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Max Read Field, but in the event of inclement weather, it will be relocated to the Senior Center.
Senior Center Director Mary Lou Moran said that while the goal of the walk is to raise money, and for the local elderly and teenage communities to get healthy, it’s so much more than your everyday fundraiser.
“It’s really become a nice inter-generational program between the high school students and the seniors...” Moran said. “Initially, we started the event
to try to raise some extra funds for programming at the senior center and it really has become even much more than just raising funds. The relationships that have been born between the students and the seniors have really been remarkable.”
“I’d say both populations really look forward to it each year,” she added. “We’re really trying to encourage aging across the lifespan.”
An added benefit to the walk, Moran said, is that the interactions between the students and seniors can aid in shattering any preconceived notions one group may have about the other.
“We’ve found oftentimes that a student might not have a grandparent figure in their family, so they really get a lot out of communicating with the seniors. The seniors are able to give back to the community and share their life experiences with the students,” Moran said. “It’s more than just a walk.”
Last year’s walk raised just over $4,000 for the Senior Center and Moran said the goal for the fifth-annual relay is to reach $4,500. She said the relay is the center’s preeminent annual fundraising endeavor and the local business community has continued to support the event.
Individuals of all ages – under 18 with parents’ permission – are encouraged to participate. Participation
at whatever level you are comfortable with is encouraged, officials said, whether you want to walk or run a lap around the track, sponsor a walker/runner with a donation, or simply cheer on and support the participants. Registration is free and anyone who wants to walk can register at Max Read Field on the day of the relay from 8:30 to 9 a.m.
Moran said she’s hopeful for between 75 and 100 participants in this year’s relay.
To receive donation or participation registration and sponsorship information, contact the senior center at 420 Main St. in Pawtucket or by dialing 401-728-7582.
In addition to the laps around the track, three different Stretch Out Fitness workshops will be taught by Senior Center Fitness and Wellness Instructor Jean Overby – at 9:30, 10:15, and 11 a.m. Pawtucket-Central Falls Emergency Management will also be demonstrating life safety tips and a soundtrack of classic music from the 1950s and 1960s will be provided by Bo-Dee’s Circle of Music throughout the entire event.
Transportation is being provided to the event from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with pick ups from the Leon A. Mathieu Senior Center parking lot, Kennedy Manor, Fogarty Manor, St. Germain Manor, Towers East Housing, and Doyle Manor.
Seniors and their supporters enjoy the Relay for Healthy Aging at the Leon Mathieu Senior Center in Pawtucket in 2015. Taking part, is Susan Lavoie, left, with her friend, Luisa Santos, a Tolman High student. This year’s walk takes place tomorrow.