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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
June 6, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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June 6, 2014

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Catalina Island Flying Fish Festival's inaugural Fun Run Around Avalon With Natalie Graham Event shows kids that exercise is something to enjoy On the morning of June 1, I had the privilege of attending the inaugural Kids Fun Run hosted by the Hermosa Hotel, the Catalina Island Boat House hotel, Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce, and, the Catalina Island Art Association. Mindy Malan was instrumental in coordinating this event. As a runner and exercise enthu- siast she was eager to be apart of an event that would help instill the value of exercise in children. Her efforts were met with great success ! When I arrived at the cor- ner of Crescent and Sumner a m61ange of Children in various states of enthusiasm were milling about. Samantha Prince (Chamber of Commerce) painted their lit- tle faces, whilst Amelia Lincoln checked the kids names off a sheet of paper, both young women sat at the snack table, piled with small bottles of water, bananas, and gold fish crackers. Gil the Fish worked his magic Mindy Malan, who helped organize the inaugural Flying Fish Festival Fun Run; Gil the Fish and Natalie Graham. as the official mascot: I strolled about chatting with the children. The first that caught my eye was Kayla Tejeda. Kayla was wearing an outfit that only the confines of adulthood stop me from wearing. A blue tutu, topped with a mermaid t-shirt. Head phones with a shiny blue cloth covering, like a mermaid's tail, with mermaids on each ear, plugged into a blue nano iPod. .... What are you listening to?" I ask Kayla. She held the tiny blue -iPod flat on her palm. Assemblymember Bo00wen'thal Sidewalk Office Hours on the Island "Its blue," she responds with the utmost gravity. 'Kayla, are you ready to stretch?" her mother asks. Giggling, she runs off. "She has been practicing stretching all week, she shows me how to do it!" Kayla's mom tells me, happily. Mindy gathers the kids together and explains the course to them. They are to run to five cor- ners, turn around and run back. Pictures are taken and we start the procession towards the start- ing line. A slight delay occurs when a trash truck blocks the starting line. -The sound of restless feet fills the air. Then, all at once a entire flock of.children is running wild- ly, gloriously, in the rich June morning. Some fall, but they get up. In no time the mob has turned around and is running back to the starting line. Daniela Osegaeda is the first to cross the finish line face flushed, smiling she basks in the applause and congratulations. I stop her and ask how-to spell her name, "Is this going in the paper?!" she asks me. "Well, you came in first place didn't you?" She stands, beaming while I take photos. She is beautiful through the cracked screen: of my iPhone. Taking time out as a com- munity to encourage children to exercise, rewarding exercise helps insttTl fhe vid o ing in the longevity and health Kids are having fun at the Fun Run event even when they are not running. of every kid who participated. Ideally it is a lasting message that stays with all the kids and follows them into adulthood, exercise is the key to physical, and, mental well being. Exercise is something to get excited about and to cel- ebrate. Thank You to the Chamber of Commerce, Mindy Malan, and the Hermosa Hotel, Catalina Boat House hotel, for organizing and participating in First Annual Flying fish fun run. Thank you to the parents who spent time preparing their kids for the race, and for being there when they ran across the finish line. Thank you, lovely little Avalon. Natalie Graham is a long time resident of Avalon, a writer and photographer. DISTRICT OFFICE: 110 Pine Avenue, Suite 804 Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 495-2915 Fax: (562) 495-2983 CAPITOL OFFICE: State Capitol P.O. Box 942849 Sacramento, CA 94247-0070 (916) 319-2070 Fax: (916) 319-2170 E-MAIL: , WEBSlTE: 81 Friday, June 6, 2014 THE CATAUNA ISLANDER