The Saucony Run For Goods Foundation, established to help combat childhood obesity by providing
financial support to community-based youth running programs, has
announced its latest round of grant winners. The nine grant recipients
include organizations from Greenville,
Michigan to Greenville, South Carolina, and New Hampshire to
Washington, a state with nearly the highest rate of obese children
(21%) in the country

In a recent press conference, First Lady Michelle Obama said
the fight against childhood obesity is “absolutely vital”. She revealed
the sad statistics: “Nearly one in three of our children in this
country is overweight or obese. One in three kids today will eventually
develop diabetes—and in the African-American and Hispanic communities
the number is nearly half.”

Saucony’s Run for Goodsm Foundation continues to combat these
startling childhood obesity rates. Since the program’s 2006 launch,
Saucony Run for Goodsm has given more than half a million dollars to
nearly 60 organizations nationwide, all to promote running as part of a
healthy, active lifestyle—for life.

“Obesity and other health concerns have grown to pandemic
levels in children, with lack of physical activity, poor dietary
habits, and lack of nutrition education to blame,” said Richie
Woodworth, president of the Saucony Run for Goodsm Board of Directors
and of Saucony, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc. (PSS) and
a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel.
“Saucony launched the Run for Goodsm Foundation to help communities
build local programs that will arm our children with the knowledge and
tools they need to get running and to live and maintain healthier

The Saucony Run For Good Foundation also announced that
biannually, a Run For Good grant will be made in the name of 2008
Olympic sprinter and Saucony athlete Wallace Spearmon, Jr. to be
awarded to community organizations that support opportunities for
at-risk youth to participate in track and field. The inaugural grant
was awarded as part of the latest round to Boston-based Youth
Enrichment Services (YES) to support a year-round, inter-neighborhood
track and field program that will reach out to more than 1,500
inner-city youth participants.

A recent article in USA Today highlights physical fitness as
the key means to fighting childhood obesity: “Many exercise experts
believe children today are too sedentary, which contributes to excess
weight in one-third of children in the USA. The government’s physical
activity guidelines recommend that children and teens do an hour or
more of moderate-intensity to vigorous activity a day.”

“With obesity on the rise, we all agree that kids are in dire
need of more active lifestyles,” said Susan K. Hartman, associate
publisher of Runner’s World magazine and a member of the Saucony Run
for Goodsm Foundation Board of Directors. “The Saucony Run for Goodsm
Foundation inspires and supports entire communities to promote and
encourage healthier lifestyles for happier, fuller lives,” she said.

The following organizations have been selected to receive a Saucony Run for Goodsm Foundation grant:

>Active4Youth, Spokane, WA
Active4Youth is a volunteer-run community organization striving to
revitalize after-school sports for elementary-aged children in Spokane Public Schools,
starting with the most popular sport: Cross Country. Active4Youth will
use the funds to support the second season of the cross-country program
established last year at all 34 elementary schools in the district. The
program focuses on teaching kids how to enjoy physical activity while
balancing nutrition, sleep and hydration.

Central Virginia YMCA, Lynchburg, VA
For over 150 years, the YMCA of Central Virginia has been at the
heart of the community in the greater Lynchburg area. It has encouraged
the healthy development of children and teens, strengthened families
and made the Lynchburg area a healthier, safer and better place to
live. The Central Virginia YMCA will use the grant money
to add the “Run for a Reason” program to 14 area-wide schools. This
program will teach kids how to have fun while exercising and how to eat

Greenville Track Club, Greenville, SC
The goal of the Greenville Track Club is to serve the community
through running. Most Greenville Track Club events include races and
programs for children to establish year-round wellness and lifelong
healthy lifestyle habits. With the grant money, Greenville Track Club
will provide assistance for 50-100 children to run regularly and
ultimately participate in a 5K run. The grant will target underserved
populations and provide these children with group training and running

Greenville Public Schools, Greenville, MI
The Greenville Public Schools formed a district-wide Wellness Team
in 2005. Brought together as a result of a Federal mandate to develop a
school wellness policy, one key goal of the Wellness Team is to
continually provide opportunities for students to participate in
after-school exercise. With the grant money, the Wellness Team will
expand a pilot program running club to target over 700 students.

Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services, Kent, WA
The City Of Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Service Department
plans and provides meaningful community sports and recreation
programming. The grant money will fund a scholarship program that
provides financial assistance to kids that cannot afford the
registration fee for the community track team. Over half of the
students are minorities.

Manchester Marathon Association (MMA), Manchester, NH
MMA is a small non-profit focused on promoting health, well-being
and fitness in the community by organizing high-quality running events
for all ages. Funding will enable MMA to purchase running shoes for
participants in a variety of running programs. The programs are both
school and community based, incorporate primarily low-income schools,
and aim to teach kids the healthy habits of running and/or walking for
physical fitness and well-being.

Sports4Kids/Playworks, Milpitas, CA
The Sports4Kids/Playworks seeks to improve the health and
well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical
activity and safe, meaningful play. With the grant money,
Sports4Kids/Playworks will expand their running club to 24 low-income
elementary schools. Full-time onsite coordinators will implement
structured recess, physical activity classes, youth leadership, an
afterschool program and developmental sports leagues.

The Children’s Aid Society, New York, NY
For over 155 years, The Children’s Aid Society has worked at the
frontlines to provide New York City’s most vulnerable children with the
care they need to be safe and healthy and continue on a positive
pathway to adulthood. With the grant money, The Children’s Aid Society
will implement a running club at two sites. Over six weeks and 18
sessions, thirty 7-17-year-olds will participate in a regimented
program that consists of intensive walking/running training,
self-esteem building and leadership development.

Youth Enrichment Services (YES), Boston, MA
(Wallace Spearmon, Jr. Run For Good Grant)

As a leading youth organization in Boston, YES enables underserved,
at-risk youth to take positive risks through a continuum of
opportunities for participation. With the grant money, YES will expand
a year-round track and field program for children 18 and under and
provide additional opportunities for youth from which to benefit.