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Miami-Dade Parks' Summer Campers celebrate the Morning Mile and End-of Summer Bash, July 26-29, 2016, at Tropical Park Equestrian Center

Nearly 3,000 children demonstrated their inner “superhero” as they enjoyed walking/running the Morning Mile, waterslides, bounce houses, competitive games, and fitness challenges

MIAMI (August 02, 2016)

Miami-Dade Parks’ summer camp participants had a lot to celebrate at this year’s “End-of-Summer” Bash, an annual event exclusive to Miami-Dade Parks’ summer camps, where all 30 camp sites fellowship together, and features water slides, bounce houses, competitive games, fitness challenges, free lunch and snacks, and beverages courtesy of the Florida Beverage Association, July 26-29, 2016, at Tropical Park Equestrian Center, 7900 SW 40 Street, in Miami.  View photos.

This year’s event which followed the National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) superheroes theme, also celebrated the five-year partnership of the Morning Mile®, sponsored by AvMed, as a key component of Miami-Dade Parks’ Fit2Play™ summer camp program, where every camper starts their day with a morning walk or run.  Morning Mile founder and Gainesville resident Fitz Koehler was joined by representatives from AvMed, to rally the children on the health benefits of staying active before leading them in a warm-up and the Morning Mile.   Koehler, a fitness expert, created the Morning Mile as a way to introduce daily walking or running to children across the nation.  It first came to Miami-Dade Parks’ summer camps in 2011, thanks to AvMed’s sponsorship.  Over the past five years, more than 13,000 Miami-Dade Parks’ summer campers have logged over 325,000 miles, a distance greater than travelling to the moon.  

“From the very first day, we knew this was something special for the kids and our collaboration with Miami-Dade County has made it even better,” said AvMed Chief Marketing Officer James M. Repp.  “It’s more than a ‘fun-run.’  It teaches children early in life about the importance of keeping fit and leading a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and physical activity.”

Also in attendance were representatives from the Florida Beverage Association who in addition to providing water and beverages for the summer campers, presented Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Javier Souto, District 10 with a $25,000 check to the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade’s Fit2Play Scholarship Fund, to help reach more kids in Miami-Dade Parks’ Fit2Play™ Afterschool program which starts on August 22, 2016.

“Successful public private partnerships, such as the long-term partnership we share with AvMed and new partners like Florida Beverage Association, help us to provide quality and affordable recreational programs that impact children’s lives,” said Raul Garcia, president of the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.  “It’s my hope that more businesses in Miami-Dade will follow in their footsteps and support community programs in parks.”

“Miami-Dade Parks’ Fit2Play Summer Camps and Afterschool programs are a national model, helping in the fight against childhood obesity and making strides in children’s health locally,” said Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys.  “Our kids not only have fun, but they are learning about good nutrition, exercise, and life-long sports like S.N.A.G. Golf (Starting New at Golf), Quick Start Tennis, and learn-to-swim.”

Each End-of-Summer Bash day hosted a different age group so that the children would recreate among peers.  Miami-Dade Parks’ summer camp programs run through August 12. 

Miami-Dade Parks is a world-class parks system supported by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness, and Conservation and Stewardship.

About AvMed

In 1969, AvMed began in South Florida as Aviation Medicine to serve the growing airline industry with pilot physicals.  Today, with headquarters in Miami and offices in every major metropolitan area of the state, AvMed aims to inspire its membership of more than 345,000 Floridians to celebrate an active lifestyle and “Embrace better health®.”  One of Florida’s oldest and largest not-for-profit health plans, AvMed provides Medicare Advantage coverage in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, Individual and Family Plans in South Florida, as well as the Gainesville, Jacksonville and Orlando markets, and Group Health coverage for employers in more than 30 counties across the only state we’ve ever served.  Well-known clients, healthcare providers and systems have been partners for decades, a testament to AvMed’s culture of service and satisfaction, which consistently ranks above statewide peers.  For more information, visit AvMed.org. 

About The Morning Mile®

Created by Fitzness® International LLC, the Morning Mile® is a before-school or camp walking/running program which allows children to start their day in an active way with fun, music and friends. Students get 30 minutes each day to run as far or as little as they choose with exciting reward necklaces to keep them motivated.  The Morning Mile® boasts almost 200 programs in 13 states, three countries and over two million miles run! Free to the school and free to the student, The Morning Mile® is paid for by generous corporate partners like AvMed, who is the largest sponsor in Florida with over 60 programs in action. To learn more about bringing The Morning Mile® to your favorite school or sponsoring the program, visit www.MorningMile.com.