Get Fit with Walgreens, the award-winning, school-based program that encourages fitness and nutritious lifestyles among Chicago-area urban youth, will conclude its fourth year of implementation this month with the "Great Walk," its end-of-year finale event.


 


The Great Walk, which includes a two-mile trek by participating students, will be held at Toyota Park, 71st Street and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview, on Thursday, May 29 beginning at 10:00 AM. The morning's program will feature a special guest appearance by former Chicago Bears Super Bowl standout Otis Wilson, chairman of the Governor's Council on Health and Fitness, plus a fun-packed program led by the Radio Disney Party Patrol with Sparky, Chicago Fire's mascot leading the kids in the walk.


 


For the past four years, the Get Fit with Walgreens program has addressed the obesity crisis among Chicago-area minority youth in an educational yet entertaining way with its dedicated curriculum, which creatively advocates making physical fitness, health and nutrition daily habits. This year, the program incorporated an interactive component with the launch of


getfitwithwalgreens.com. The site serves as an additional resource for teachers, students, parents and the community to learn more about the program and the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.


 


"We launched this program city-wide to address what we saw as a growing problem in many Chicago communities where we do business and because we wanted to do more to serve our customers and future customers their children," said John Grant, Walgreens vice president, store operations. "Walgreens is proud of the success of Get Fit, and we're equally pleased with its continued growth as it touches larger and larger numbers of students."


 


As a reward for their participation, the students attend the Great Walk event and are entered in a random drawing for a chance to win a new bicycle for one student from each school. Participating schools also will be honored with a special Award of Excellence presentation. For the 2007-2008 program year, Get Fit with Walgreens expanded to include 35 participating Chicago and suburban public schools.


 


Walgreens is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2007 sales of $53.8 billion. The company operates 6,204 drugstores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Walgreens is expanding its patient-first health care services beyond traditional pharmacy through Walgreens Health Services, its managed care division, and Take Care Health Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary that manages 168 convenient care clinics at drugstores.

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