Ultima Fitness & Wellness, in cooperation with the Village of Wellington, Walgreens and Wellington The Magazine, will host a free Wellington Fitness & Wellness Education Day on Saturday, Aug. 22 from 8 a.m. to noon. The event will take place at Ultima, located at 12799 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in the Wellington Plaza.
Ultima and the village will be collecting back-to-school donations, with special requests for hand sanitizer, construction paper, pencils, pens, paper towels and other items that will be helpful for teachers. Wellington teachers who attend are eligible to receive a donation of school supplies for their classroom.
In the past, during the back-to-school time of year, Ultima would have an event to help prepare teachers and parents getting ready for the school year, said Jessica Merrell, Ultima’s chief marketing officer.
Ultima, she explained, has always been diligent about giving back to the community and decided to change its event this year, making it larger and not centered just within the fitness facility.
“This year, we wanted to kick it up a notch and do something more impactful, something bigger,” Merrell said. “We started talking with the village… about what we could do to make as significant an impact as possible.”
As they brainstormed, they focused on the fact that many teachers in the community use a significant amount of their own resources to supplement what they are given to run their classrooms.
Wellington Community Services Director James Poag is excited to join in on the event. “We felt it was important — almost imperative — to reach out to our community and help re-educate them with regard to fitness and wellness, at the same time collecting school supplies for those in need,” he said. “Oftentimes, we only consider the student as someone being in need. In addition to the students, we also wanted to reach out and help the teachers.”
That is why teachers will be the focus of the event.
“We wanted to do something specifically for the teachers,” Merrell said. “What we also wanted to do, though, was not make this a one-day event. We didn’t want it to be where people came, they participated, and they left.”
The larger goal is to use the day to educate the educators and the parents of the children in the community on how to have a healthy lifestyle throughout the school year.
“A well-prepared teacher basically translates to a well-prepared student,” Poag said. “We felt it was a great idea to join in and join forces to pull this event off,” Poag said.
On Aug. 22, teachers, students, parents and families are welcome to learn how to live healthier and be better prepared for the school year. This will be done through an extensive schedule of demonstrations, classes and more, geared toward parents, teachers and children. Topics will range from stress reduction through mindful living, improved sports performance, packing healthy lunches, stress management through holistic health practices, overcoming childhood adversity through martial arts, and more.
There will also be yoga classes for young children, Merrell said, noting that there are alternative ways to de-stress, other than playing video games.
In addition to the free child daycare at Ultima, there will be free healthy food, juice and supplement samples, plus free chair massages, and Walgreens representatives will also be on hand offering flu shots and health screenings.
Anyone who attends the educational day is invited to join multiple free classes, including Stranger Danger for parents and children, Zumba, Pilates, barre, U-Pump, Qi Gong, and self-defense for teachers and parents.
Every Wellington teacher who comes to the event will be eligible to receive the donations collected throughout the month and on Aug. 22. “We want to hand out the donations to the teachers who have shown that they are willing to take that extra step to really be a part of making sure that they themselves, and their students, and the parents are starting off the school year in the best way to lead a healthy lifestyle throughout the year,” Merrell said.
Admission to the event requires either a donation of school supplies or a monetary donation, which will be used to purchase school supplies. Ultima will be donating a portion of the sales and memberships from Aug. 22.
The event is planned indoors, and will occur rain or shine. Sponsor donations should be made out to the Village of Wellington.
For more information, call the Village of Wellington at (561) 791-4000 or visit www.wellingtonfl.gov. Businesses wanting to donate school supplies should call Ultima at (561) 795-2823 and speak to Jill or Jessica Merrell.