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May 13, 2009 > Stroll encourages community connection

Stroll encourages community connection

By Julie Grabowski

An average walk through the park usually provides no more than the intended exercise and fresh air, with perhaps a wayward dog or playful child crossing your path. But on Saturday, May 16th Tennyson Park abounds with opportunity via the South Hayward Stroll, a neighborhood event fostering health, resource awareness, and community spirit. Created by members of the South Hayward Neighborhood Collaborative (SoHNC), the stroll celebrates diversity and promotes the wealth of resources available to the public. "The event grew out of a need to bring community members together and to recognize some of the valuable services available to local residents," says Sara Lamnin, Program Director for Hayward Community Action Network.

Last years' inaugural event had 50 booths and 100 participants in two locations, while this year's single location will feature at least 60 booths with organizers hoping for a turn out of 200 people. Booths are arranged in par course style offering information from a wide array of community services including Alameda County Social Services, East Bay ParaTransit, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, The Relaxation Connection, Eden Area League of Women Voters, Boy Scouts of America, Heart of the Bay Christian Center, Hayward Public Library, Bay Area Legal Aid, Lincoln Child Center, Fiji Made Products, Center for Elders Independence, Asian Network Pacific Home Care and Hospice, Children's Hospital, Women's Cancer Resource Center, Zlyna Granado Chiropractic, and Shelter Against Violent Environments.

Booths will also include a game or activity to encourage participation and increase learning. Families or individuals can obtain a passport that will be marked at each booth visited and upon completion entered in a drawing for various prizes. Staff from Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD) will be on hand to model different games that families can play together to increase physical activity levels and personal interaction. Festivities also include live music from local bands and a free barbeque lunch.

The South Hayward Neighborhood Collaborative is a community network made up of representatives from about 20 different agencies and has been serving the city since 1994. It exists to "preserve, strengthen, and empower our families, households, residents, and community; increase economic development and self-sufficiency; promote a safe and healthy environment by developing through collaboration and advocacy new and enhancing existing services; promoting optimal access to health care; preserving and strengthening the family unit; celebrating cultural diversity; and providing a focal point for access to address the health and basic needs of our families." The South Hayward Stroll embodies all of these aims, and is a great opportunity for residents to discover programs and services that help improve physical and emotional health as well as encourage a more positive way of life. Lamnin says they now have enough momentum to be an annual event, stressing the ongoing need for community building in South Hayward.

The free event is co-sponsored by Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD), Eden Youth and Family Center, and La Familia Counseling Service, all of who will be represented at the stroll.

Whether your interests run toward health, politics, and education, senior services, safety, nutrition, or child and family services, the South Hayward Stroll is sure to have you covered. A Saturday in the park has never been more beneficial.

For more information contact Sara Lamnin at (510) 432-7703 or David McKeown at (510) 887-1146.

South Hayward Stroll
Saturday, May 16
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Tennyson Park
Huntwood Ave. and Panjon St., Hayward
(510) 432-7703 or (510) 887-1146


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