2016 Day of Hope conference features stories from elders
May 20, 2016
Gila River Indian News
The Gila River Health Care hosted its annual health event to promote health and wellness covering topics concerning all age groups.
The 2016 Day of Hope, sponsored by the Gila River Health Care and Community Services Department, hosted the event at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass on May 10.
With the support from the Tobacco Tax, the event was filled with empowering messages and workshops on a variety of health topics.
The conference drew over 275 attendees and included students from Gila Crossing Community School, Sacaton Middle School, Cesar Chavez High School and the Residential Programs for Youth.
Under the theme, “Building a Legacy of Health Through the Generations,” the conference incorporated a story telling session from a trio of elders about life in the Community, then and now.
Lt. Gov. Monica Antone said the elders are good examples of keeping up with physical activities by participating in elder friendly activities like chair volleyball.
“I thank the elders for always keeping up their volleyball games, but most importantly its about the stories and interweaving the language into their team names,” she said.
Lt. Gov. Antone also acknowledged the schools within the Community that are actively participating in small garden projects.
“Every day this week I was blessed to see something good in our schools,” she said.
Akimel O’odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council Youth Coordinator Michael Preston brought his workshop to life through interactive scenarios on how to budget monthly expenses and plan out life goals.
In the Ba’ag (Eagle) room, Chef Anthony Marazita from Ko’Sin Restaurant at the Sheraton Grand put his knowledge of O’otham foods to the test.
Marazita used an assortment of locally grown foods provided by Ramona Farms and the students of Gila Crossing Community School in District 6 to demonstrate how traditionally grown foods can be used to create tasty dishes.
By the end of the conference, Michael Tashquinth, Community member from District 6, spoke about the importance of being active and some of the challenges he faced in staying physically active.
He said at times its hard and you feel like giving up, but that there were people at the Life Center that helped motivate him to continue.
When he started working out at the Life Center he had put on a significant amount of weight, but knew he had to make changes to take the pounds off.