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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Happy Healthy Holladay

Aug 01, 2015 11:45AM ● By Pat Maddox

Dancers from the Performing Dance Center do a routine at Happy Healthy Holladay, showing that a moving body is a happy body.

On June 20, Holladay City held its third annual “Happy Healthy Holladay” event behind City Hall to promote happiness and health for residents. 

“We stress activity, healthy eating and safety,” city councilmember Patricia Pignanelli said.

Getting people active is the mainstay of the event, whether it is physical, mental or preparedness.

“It all fits with the playground that we’re building that encourages people … [to] have fun and move,” Pignanelli said. 

Local businesses and organizations were invited to participate as well, providing a range of information from mosquito prevention to emergency preparedness, the latter being an ongoing concern for many Utahns. 

Being prepared for unexpected events certainly falls in line with the message of the event.

“Emergency preparedness is such an important part of being healthy and happy,” Pignanelli said. 

  So what can Holladay residents do to handle and be prepared for something like a natural disaster?

“There is five steps of preparedness,” Stan Schaar said, who is a preparedness volunteer for the city. “The first is to get a plan so that your family knows what to do when an emergency or disaster happens.”

Emergency volunteer coordinator David Chisholm says that step two is to get a kit. “A kit being a 72-hour kit – things likes water, food, a flashlight … the basics you need to survive for 72 hours.”

Step three, according to Chisholm, is to be informed in order to prepare correctly. 

“You need to know the kind of hazards and situations that may develop in your area, such as earthquakes, severe windstorms, floods or fires. Those are the major things in Holladay we’d be concerned about,” he said. 

Once you have a plan, a 72-hour kit and are informed about the possible local hazards, the next steps are to get involved and to maintain communications. 

Schaar points out that when a disaster strikes, the ability to communicate is going to be key. “We need to make sure that people realize that ham radios, CB’s and other forms of communication are important and useful,” he said. “And we need people to realize that they may have to listen to the radio on what to do … whether or not they need to evacuate.”

Chisholm and Schaar stress that while the city has an emergency preparedness plan, they can’t keep everybody safe; ultimately, the responsibility of safety is in the hands of the  residents.

“The citizens of Holladay need to realize that they need to take care of themselves,” Schaar said.

But the Happy Healthy Holladay event wasn’t all gloom and doom. 

Members of the Performing Dance Center – as well as a group yoga class – gave performances and demonstrations to get people up and moving, promoting the idea that a moving body is a happy body. 

But being healthy isn’t exclusive to the body; there is the mind to think about too.

“I’ve been doing a movement story time for almost two years now,” Heidi Tice, a librarian at Holladay Library said. “My supervisor thought this was a great venue … to promote healthiness.”

The idea behind movement story time is that physical activity actuates the majority of the brain, making children more willing to listen, learn and follow through. 

The program makes for a noisier library than what some people may like, but Tice says that it’s a small price to pay for the service it provides to the community, also pointing out that times have changed. “Libraries are not what they were and we have to keep training people … when you’ve got 50 kids in the children’s section, we’re not going to tell them all to be quiet. If you do, then the kids are going to look at it [the library] as a restrictive place.”

There certainly is nothing restrictive about the Happy Healthy Holladay annual event. With helpful information spanning a spectrum of topics, one would have to go out of their way to not learn something useful.

Event Coordinator Michele Bohling considered this year another success, adding that the community outreach and the myriad of activities available throughout the city makes Holladay “a great place to live.”