Donation helps keep Albany youth healthy - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Donation helps keep Albany youth healthy

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

July 27, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The fight against obesity is getting harder. Georgia ranks number 8 on a list of fattest states in the nation.

On top of that, more than 28 percent of the adult population is overweight.

Here in Albany one woman has been instrumental in trying to lower that number by targeting the youth.

On Sunday her non-profit organization received some much needed equipment to help our Youth Become Healthy.

The dusty equipment still works, it will soon be cleaned up, and put to use once again.

"We really just had the equipment in storage so it's some extra equipment that I did have, and I've been talking with Pamela for several months about donating it to the Youth Becoming Healthy program," said Tony Powell, Tony's Westside Athletic Club.

Four years ago, following the death of her brother to obesity-related illnesses, Pamela Jackson created and implemented the first Youth Becoming Healthy program at Dougherty Middle School.

"I think my brother would be proud to know that we're helping kids, with fine donors like Tony's Gym that are helping us to spread our services, and help more kids," said Pamela Jackson.

The donated fitness equipment will offset the cots of setting up new programs at other schools in Albany.

"Now we'll be able to complete all six middle schools, and begin working on elementary. With the amount of equipment we've gotten donated, we may be able to go into the high schools as well," said Jackson.

At middle schools like Merry Acres, classrooms are being converted to try and give young people gym quality equipment, you can find at any health club.

"For us to set up each school it cost on average about $15,000. That's just to purchase the equipment, and to redo the classrooms that they've given us to turn into health clubs," said Jackson.

Cycles, treadmills, and stair climbers, help the YBH Project targets kids in their daily environment, school.

"We just felt like that was the best use for the equipment, it'll benefit the youth and help out, and get them started on more of a healthier lifestyle at a younger age," said Powell.

Keeping the youth in Albany healthy one school at a time.

Jackson said the equipment should be in more Albany area schools by the end of September

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