2007-09-21 / Community

Rockaway Walks Celebrates Successful End To Program

By Miriam Rosenberg

Rachel Williams, who was diagnosed with diabetes in February, explains the reason she began walking, as Councilman James Sanders Jr., Donovan Richards and SJEH's new CEO, John Gupta, look on. Rachel Williams, who was diagnosed with diabetes in February, explains the reason she began walking, as Councilman James Sanders Jr., Donovan Richards and SJEH's new CEO, John Gupta, look on. For the last three months, Far Rockaway residents have gotten together to walk for a healthier tomorrow, as part of the Rockaway Walks health initiative.

Beginning on June 2, and every other Saturday afterwards, participants met on the boardwalk on Beach 11 Street, where they walked and exercised as part of the health campaign. On September 15, everyone gathered one last time to celebrate their summer long achievements.

Though the inclement weather kept many home on the last official day of the program, those who did turn out spoke about their accomplishments.

"I lost about 20 to 25 pounds and lots of inches," said Earlene Glenn. "I feel fabulous."

Judy Garcia lost 22 pounds.

"I'm very proud of myself," said Garcia, who plans to continue working out during the winter.

Rachel Williams was diagnosed with diabetes and blood pressure problems in February.

Participants display their certificates of achievement as McCartney, far left; Sanders, middle; Penny Chin of SJEH, Richards, Gupta, Sanders' aid Lisa Emanuel and Eric Matza of SJEH join them for a group photo. Participants display their certificates of achievement as McCartney, far left; Sanders, middle; Penny Chin of SJEH, Richards, Gupta, Sanders' aid Lisa Emanuel and Eric Matza of SJEH join them for a group photo. "I lost 25 pounds," said Williams.

Also attending the final session were Councilman James Sanders Jr.; Donovan Richards, Sanders' district manager and the person who spearheaded the program; and representatives from St. John's Episcopal Hospital, including their new CEO, John Gupta.

In addition to bi-monthly weigh-ins and walks on the boardwalk, there were health workshops at St. John's Episcopal Hospital. Sanders sponsored Rockaway Walks, in collaboration with St. John's Episcopal Hospital, Addabbo Family Health Center, JMB Nursing Services, Peninsula Hospital Center and Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation's Beacon School.

The sponsors of Rockaway Walks are currently talking with the Sorrentino Center in Far Rockaway about continuing the program there during the winter months.

Earlene Glenn and Judy Garcia exercise during the last meeting of the Rockaway Walks group. During the program, both Glenn and Garcia lost almost 25 pounds each. Earlene Glenn and Judy Garcia exercise during the last meeting of the Rockaway Walks group. During the program, both Glenn and Garcia lost almost 25 pounds each. "I will be back wherever they are," said Glenn.

Sanders weighs in Maritza Yaport, as her fellow walkers and Richards watch. Sanders weighs in Maritza Yaport, as her fellow walkers and Richards watch. As he had done all summer, Steven C. McCartney (Fitness Instructor/Affinity Health Plan), center, leads participants in exercises during the September 15 gathering. As he had done all summer, Steven C. McCartney (Fitness Instructor/Affinity Health Plan), center, leads participants in exercises during the September 15 gathering.

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