Lighten Up ETX kicks off at CASA 5k

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A sea of runners flocked to Pecan Parkin Nacogdoches in support of two important causes.

Healthy Nacogdoches and CASA of DeepEast Texas partnered together for the Lighten Up East Texas Weight LossChallenge and CASA 5k Fun Run.

"You want to be healthy in yourphysical being but you also want to be healthy in your emotional being,"said Rebecca Carlton, Executive Director, CASA Deep East Texas.

11 counties and 20 Nacogdoches organizationsare participating in the regional weight loss challenge, before runners leftthe starting line they weighed-in to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

"In Nacogdoches about 60 percentof our residence are overweight or obese and so we're trying to reach thosepeople and to improve our health and reduce risk," said Kinnie Douglas,Healthy Nacogdoches.

The winners of the challenge will bedecided by percentage of weight lost. Healthy Nacogdoches Program CoordinatorKinnie Douglas says since 2007 the coalition has been working to improve thehealth of the first town in Texas.

"From our smoke free ordinance here inNacogdoches , to improving our trails and our side walk system and justcreating a healthier community for people to live in," said Douglas.

CASA helps children in Nacogdoches,San Augustine and Shelby counties, officials hope that Saturday's kick-off willbenefit the health of the community but also children in need.

"We have about 200 children rightnow in our custody in those three counties and about 70 volunteers who arespeaking for them in court. We hope that when people see this they want tolearn more about those kids and how they can help them, its really a goodpartnership for total health," said Carlton.

The Lighten Up East Texas Program lastuntil May 4th, to sign up visit .

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