YMCA Health Festival scheduled for Monday | Local news


The Kokomo YMCA hopes to have an alligator in the building on Monday.

The cold-blooded creature will visit Hedgehog Hannah, a mobile petting zoo, as one of the attractions for the launch of the YMCA’s Holiday Trimmings Challenge Heath Festival.

Tony Budenz, director of marketing and communications for the YMCA, explained that the Holiday Trimmings Challenge is an accountability program designed to keep people in shape during the holidays.

This year’s challenge will be different from previous years, Budenz said.

“We’ve had very good runs in recent years, but it’s been a lot more structured, where we say you have to complete these practices,” Budenz said. This year, there will still be resources for people who need guidance, but there will be no strict requirements outlining how people are supposed to exercise.

Other festival attractions for kids will include a bouncy house, an inflatable obstacle course in the YMCA pool and a superhero button-making station, courtesy of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.

However, the festival will be based mainly on health services.

Community Howard Regional Health, the title sponsor of the event, will bring the CareMobile to the YMCA for on-site wellness exams, physicals and sick visits. Visitors will not need an appointment. Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo will also be at the event offering balance tests.

The Howard County Health Department will look up immunization records and schedule appointments and blood pressure tests.

CVS will also be at the festival to administer flu shots. Registration and insurance cards or coupons are required to receive a vaccine.

Budenz said this is the first time the Kokomo YMCA has hosted a health festival of this caliber.

“When it’s just a health fair, there are a certain number of people who come just for that. But if you drag your children, what are they going to do? They don’t care about blood pressure,” Budenz said. “We wanted to make sure that families could have family time.”

Budenz explained that the festival was initially being planned as a launch party for Holiday Trimmings participants. But, as the organization continued to plan and add to the event, they decided to open the event up to everyone in the community.

The festival will be at the Downtown YMCA, 114 N. Union St., Monday from 4:30-7 pm and is open to the public.

The 4 week Holiday Trimmings program starts on Monday. YMCA members will need to pay a $15 registration fee. Non-members will have to pay $40, and the fee includes a one-month YMCA membership.

Participants can register for the challenge at the festival or online through the YMCA website.


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