MAYOR’S WELLNESS EFFORT MAKES STRIDES

Walkers closing the loop on their one-mile stroll through two borough parks. Below, Mayor Menna with Trish Whitaker and borough Attorney Dan O’Hern. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

An enthusiastic throng of participants hit the pavement in Red Bank for the Community Kick Start Walk on Saturday. More than 50 adults and children piled into Marine Park, grabbed t-shirts that read “Today, Tomorrow, Together,” and marched a one-mile loop from Marine Park to Riverside Gardens and back.

The event, which officials said is likely to become an annual affair, marks the first public endeavor of the Mayor’s Wellness Committee, a new committee to promote healthy living among Red Bank. The committee’s previous activity, a health fair for borough employees, with a weight loss competition similar to the setup of TV’s The Biggest Loser, has already yielded big gains – or losses, that is. Councilman Art Murphy leads the competition, having dropped 34 pounds so far.

Melissa Kostinas, director of the State Mayors Wellness Campaign, said she hopes the next time she comes back it is to “name one Red Bank one of New Jersey’s healthiest towns.”

Mayor Pasquale Menna told redbangreen he was grateful for the participation by kids. “Their enthusiasm makes us want to continue doing more,” he said.

He said he was considering a mini-walk for seniors at the Atrium at Navesink residence for the committee’s next activity to include them in the committee’s outreach.

Councilman Mike DuPont, who Menna referred to as the catalyst for this walk, called the turnout “tremendous,” especially in light of the fact that this is the committee’s first program.

“It’s all about bringing people together,” he said.