Former NFL player Lorenzo Booker will run a football clinic and deliver a motivational speech at the Ventura Family Y’s Healthy Kids Day event. (Ventura Family YMCA photo)

The Ventura Family YMCA will hold a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, 2016. This year marks the 25th annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families.

The day-long event features activities such as a football clinic run by former NFL players Lorenzo Booker and Ronney Jenkins, with Booker also delivering a motivational speech to encourage kids; the MLB’s Pitch, Hit & Run skills competition; a performance by PB & Jam from the hit TV show The Dancetime Boys; raffles; a 1K fun run; climbing wall; inflatables; CPR classes; a Pedal Against Polio fundraiser; and local vendors. 

Some other highlights include summer Y program and class registrations, the final day of early bird pricing for summer day camps and Sleepaway Sequoia Lake and even lost child fingerprinting provided by the Community Police Foundation and the Ventura Police Department. 

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,300 Ys across the country by over 1.2 million participants, works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they continue all summer long, which is a critical time for kids’ health.

When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically.

Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days. Instead, the Y hopes to focus on wowing them with their potential and make this their best summer ever by staying active and learning. 

“At the Y, we believe that all children have potential to become their best selves, and we strive to help kids find this type of wow factor inside themselves,” said Sarah Abrams, the youth programs director at the Ventura Family YMCA. “A child’s development is never on vacation, and Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and motivate kids to stay active in spirit, mind and body throughout the summer.”

In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:
» High five the fruits and veggies — Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.

» Foster an early and ongoing passion for books — Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.

» Team up for athletic events — Set a family goal of great health by teaming up for community or charity events like races, walks, fun runs, bike rides, etc.

» Volunteer together — Find a cause that matters to the kids. Open their eyes to a world beyond themselves and the rich rewards that come from making a difference.

» Make sleep a priority — Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning and other vital functions.

The Ventura Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day will take place at 3760 Telegraph Road in Ventura. Visit for the details and to RSVP.

Healthy Kids Day is supported through the generosity of donors including its title sponsor, Community Memorial Health System

The Y would also like to thank LinkedIn, Bank of the Sierra, Farber Hass Hurley LLP, Montecito Bank & Trust, Oxnard Children’s Dental Group, the Ventura Community Police Foundation, the Ventura Police Department, Ric and Penny Ruffinelli, Valley Care IPA, Agua Brillante and The Kim Pagano Show AM 1590 KVTA.

For more information about the Ventura Family YMCA stop in at 3760 Telegraph Road in Ventura, visit or call 805.642.2131.

Alicia Cattoni is the marketing and communication director at the Ventura Family YMCA.