About 450 people joined the African American Health Coalition Saturday, Aug 21, for the 8th Annual Wellness Walk. The event brings together Portland's Black community and friends to exercise, celebrate and raise awareness about health disparities among African Americans.
"I'm not sure yet how much we raised, but I consider the event a success, and I'd like to see even more people turn out next year," said Corliss McKeever, the coalition's executive director. Ron Wyden gave a good speech, Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen was the Grand Marshal, and Commissioner Nick Fish, the commissioner for Parks and Recreation, came. He is a real partner to us. He is really committed and he not only helped out -- he and his wife put up one of our stands -- they were having a good time doing it. This event is really fun."
The Wellness walk is a fundraiser that helps sustain the free exercise program. It offers two routes, a K5 and a 1.5K, and plenty of fun for everyone in Dawson Park with food, music, dancing and free massage. Portland Parks and Recreation subsidize the free exercise program by cutting the cost to the coalition by $2 a person.
'We have really good partnerships," McKeever said. "That's how three years after our federal funding was cut we are still here. People really want to see this work."
Photos: Jerry Foster, The African American Health Coalition's 8th Annual Wellness Walk. Dawson Park, Portland.