YMCA's Healthy Kids Day draws 1,000 to Lexington event

jbrammer@herald-leader.comMay 4, 2014 

Hanging on a side wall of the cavernous Nutter Field House, a sports training facility on the University of Kentucky campus, are large banners honoring star track and field athletes of years gone by.

Emerson Donahoe of Lexington gained no inspiration from them Sunday as she tried to navigate part of the six-lane, 290-meter track as fast as her little legs could carry her.

She's only 3. Her goal was just to keep up with her aunt, Lisa Lay.

Emerson was one of about 1,000 people who showed up Sunday for the free Healthy Kids Day event at the 132,000-square-foot facility near Commonwealth Stadium. It was the fourth year at the climate-controlled Nutter.

The activity, hosted by the YMCA of Central Kentucky, is designed to inspire more kids — preschoolers to teens — to keep their minds and bodies active.

"Youngsters actually get more sedentary in the summer, so we are trying to get them and their families actively engaged in good health habits," said Julie Balog, vice president of the YMCA of Central Kentucky, which is based in Lexington and has programs in Jessamine and Scott counties.

The event, supported by corporate partners Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Kentucky Employment Mutual Insurance and New Heights, offered a variety of games and arts and crafts.

Bryan Tolliver and Victoria Donahue of Lexington brought his two sons, Connor, 12, and Jonathan, 7, and her son, Noah Evans, 4, to enjoy the day.

Connor summed up their opinion of it: "It's fun."

Annette Manlief, mother of 3-year-old Emerson Donahoe, watched her daughter and sister scurry down the track.

"We're having a blast," Manlief said.

She noted that she is a runner and that her husband, Brennan Donahoe, competes in Iron Man contests.

Who knows? Maybe Emerson will have her own banner at Nutter Field House decades from now.

Jack Brammer: (859) 231-1302. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: Bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service