The celebration features event registration, Native dancing, a potluck picnic with healthy foods and t-shirts for the first 400 people who register for this year's event (no t-shirts will be mailed).
Tlingít elder Paul Jackson will offer an opening prayer and will give a brief introduction to the event. Two hours into the celebration, participants will walk over to Twin Lakes to hold a play session for kids and adults at the new Project Playground. The Eagles vs. Ravens Wellness Challenge takes place from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30 and is open to all Juneau residents, regardless of age or whether they are Native or non-Native. More than 300 people signed up last year, and more are expected for this year's challenge.
"Sunday's kick-off celebration is a great way to get everybody's energy up for the start of the 2007 Eagles vs. Ravens Wellness Challenge," SEARHC Juneau Health Promotion Manager Alan Travasso said. Eagles vs. Ravens began as a 1998 walking contest in Klukwan, with the losing moiety providing the winners with a picnic. Since then, the contest has expanded into other communities and it now takes a more holistic approach toward improving a person's overall health.
People still can earn points for doing physical activity, such as walking, cycling, running, kayaking or even playing hopscotch. But participants also now can earn points for other wellness activities, such as quitting tobacco, improving their nutrition, getting annual check-ups, reducing their stress, drinking water, mentoring, or for taking part in or attending community or cultural events.
Juneau residents can go to http://www.searhc.org/evr/ to register for the challenge, and this is the first time it's been on the Web. Online registration closes on Aug. 15. People can participate as individuals, on teams of 2-8 people, and for their respective moieties. Family and business teams are encouraged. The major co-sponsors of this year's event are the SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program, the Indian Health Service's Just Move It campaign to promote physical activity in American Indians and Alaska Natives (http://www.justmoveit.org) and SEARHC's Juneau Employee Wellness Team.
This year's Eagles vs. Ravens includes several weekly events such as family swims, walking clubs and indoor rock climbing. An open house with biometric screenings takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30, at the SEARHC Juneau Health Promotion Office, 3245 Hospital Dr. (lower floor).
The closing ceremony and awards will be presented from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Tlingít-Haida Community Center. All points need to be submitted by Sept. 29.
For more information, contact Alan Travasso at 364-4458, Cachet Garrett at 463-4092, Christa Lott at 364-4460 or Christy Wallace at 364-4457. Additional information is online at http://www.searhc.org/evr/.