All welcome at African American Male Wellness Walk/Run Aug. 2

By William K. Alcorn


The second annual African American Male Wellness 5K Walk/Run on Aug. 2 is for everybody in the Mahoning Valley.

“Don’t get distracted by the name,” said the Rev. Lewis Macklin, event chairman.

The event also has three honorary chairmen: McDonald Village Mayor Glenn Holmes, Warren Mayor Douglas Franklin and former Youngstown mayor Jay Williams.

The focus is on black men, who are disproportionately affected by diabetes, prostate cancer, heart disease and other health issues, but the whole community, men and women, black and white, is invited to participate, the Rev. Mr. Macklin said.

The event begins at 9 a.m. at the Covelli Centre, 229 E. Front St., preceded by free health screenings for the entire family starting at 7 a.m. Also, before the walk/run, there will be entertainment and a warm-up, Mr. Macklin said.

The walk/run route starts at the Covelli Centre, goes up Market Street and winds through a portion of Youngstown’s South Side before coming back down Market to end where it began.

The screenings, provided by Humility of Mary Health Partners and doctors and health professionals volunteering their time and services throughout the day, include blood pressure, curvature of the spine, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test for prostate cancer, diabetes and other noninvasive tests.

The screenings are all voluntary, but as an incentive to participate, the Greater Youngstown Italian Festival, which is Aug. 1-3 in downtown Youngstown, is offering half-off on the admission fee for anyone who gets a screening during the walk/run, Mr. Macklin said.

He said there will be a health-wellness village for children with a bounce-around and other activities, healthy snacks and vision screening.

The program includes testimonials of individuals who have overcome cancer and information on how to exercise and live healthy, Mr. Macklin said.

He anticipates attracting more participants in the walk/run’s second year.

“There will be a festive, carnival atmosphere. People are actually scheduling family reunions around the event and walking together,” he said.

Last year, 348 men were screened and nearly 900 participated in the walk/run, he said.

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