Lighten Up ETX kicks off at CASA 5k -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Lighten Up ETX kicks off at CASA 5k

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A sea of runners flocked to Pecan Park in Nacogdoches in support of two important causes.

Healthy Nacogdoches and CASA of Deep East Texas partnered together for the Lighten Up East Texas Weight Loss Challenge and CASA 5k Fun Run.

"You want to be healthy in your physical being but you also want to be healthy in your emotional being," said Rebecca Carlton, Executive Director, CASA Deep East Texas.

 11 counties and 20 Nacogdoches organizations are participating in the regional weight loss challenge, before runners left the starting line they weighed-in to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

"In Nacogdoches about 60 percent of our residence are overweight or obese and so we're trying to reach those people and to improve our health and reduce risk," said Kinnie Douglas, Healthy Nacogdoches.

The winners of the challenge will be decided by percentage of weight lost. Healthy Nacogdoches Program Coordinator Kinnie Douglas says since 2007 the coalition has been working to improve the health of the first town in Texas.

 "From our smoke free ordinance here in Nacogdoches , to improving our trails and our side walk system and just creating a healthier community for people to live in," said Douglas.

CASA helps children in Nacogdoches, San Augustine and Shelby counties, officials hope that Saturday's kick-off will benefit the health of the community but also children in need.

"We have about 200 children right now in our custody in those three counties and about 70 volunteers who are speaking for them in court. We hope that when people see this they want to learn more about those kids and how they can help them, its really a good partnership for total health," said Carlton.

The Lighten Up East Texas Program last until May 4th, to sign up visit .

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