On Oct. 9, Soul Joy Wellness held their third 5k Run Walk Praise at Baldwin Park. Joy Williams, the Founder and CEO of Soul Joy Wellness, partnered with the Theta Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Healthfirst to produce a well rounded healthy and spiritual event.
The goal of the run/walk, Williams says, is to “focus on faith, fitness, and fun. We try to make it engaging and fun for people, so this race has a large variety of ages and people with experience. A lot of people never knew they could do a race before, so we try to make it fun.”
Soul Joy Wellness, the health and wellness website run by Williams with a focus on faith and a holistic approach to life, shows her dedication to the community. Their articles can be found on a variety of topics, such as church, fitness, hair care, self-care and more. With something for everyone, the website is helpful for anyone.
Because of Covid-19, they didn’t hold the event last year and scaled back a little this year. Williams said, “Sometimes we’ll have more, like dancers and other things.” Although, they did see 68 runners and walkers come out to show their support and help their community.
Williams says she is also a member of the Theta Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the same sorority Kamala Harris is in, “We do a lot of community service, this one in particular were supporting refugees around the world and women’s health.” Being breast cancer awareness month, an eye on education and action was one of the objectives of the event. Not limiting their sphere of influence, the chapter also has other programs such as, “Building Your Economic Legacy,” “The Arts!” and “Global Impact.”
A focus in health is apparent at the event, where a Healthfirst booth is set up. Healthfirst has become New York’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, they write on their website, “It takes dedication to community relationships to make access to healthcare better for New Yorkers. We strive to help our members navigate the healthcare system, and we work in partnership with hundreds of local organizations to promote healthier, active communities.”
The fastest runner, Prelja Sinistaj, 59, ended with a time of 20:26.88. Placing second was Kevin McElroy, 52, with 23:22.64, and third was Susie Snyder, 59, with a time of 25:37.50. With runners steadily reaching the finish line one after another, all participants got a finisher medal, showing that everyone was a winner and accomplished their goal of completing the 5k.
Proceeds will go to the co-sponsorship Ivy Foundation Suffolk/Nassau Counties, Inc. in support of the One Million Steps Challenge. This challenge asks regular people to run or walk in solidarity with the thousands of international refugees who are forced to flee their homes, trekking miles to try and reach safety.
This event was also made possible by the help of elitefeats who were present to take the times, scoring and pictures of everyone who crossed the finish line. Through them more upcoming local events can be found and attended in person or virtually.
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