tim_hardaway_2.jpgMIAMI — Nearly 400 Miami-Dade Parks’ summer campers gathered at Goulds Park in Miami on June 12 for inspiration and exercise as part of an expanded Morning Mile program.

Joining the effort sponsored by AvMed Health Plans were former Miami Heat point guard and five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway; Olympic Coach and University of Miami Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Amy Deem; track and field student athletes from the University of Miami; Olympic hurdler Bershawn Jackson; Fitz Koehler from Fitzness International; Pat Nelson from AvMed Health Plans and Deputy Chief of Staff Helena Sumpter from the Office of Miami-Dade County District 9 Commissioner Dennis C. Moss.

The “guest athletes” shared personal stories, stretched and led the children as they embarked on the 100 for 100 Challenge with the goal of each camper running 100 miles by summer’s end.

Now available at all 42 Miami-Dade Parks’ summer camps, the Morning Mile program, developed by Fitzness International, provides incentives for children to get moving each morning with a run, jog or walk. 

Children receive collectible necklace charms for every five miles logged as they strive to receive the coveted “100” mile charm. As part of the 100 for 100 Challenge, local companies are encouraged to donate $100 to the nonprofit Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade for each child who reaches the 100-mile milestone. 

Dollars are donated to the Fit2Play Scholarship Fund, matched 100 percent, and provide children in need with scholarships to attend afterschool and summer camp programs.

Created by Fitzness International, the Morning Mile program provides participating schools or parks with a program guidebook and everything needed to bring the exercise program to their students.

A grant from AvMed provided funding for the Morning Mile starter kits, which give parks the instructions and materials to start the program.

To learn more about launching or sponsoring the program, visit MorningMile.com. For more information on the 100 for 100 Challenge and how your organization can get involved, e-mail vmallette@miamidade.gov or call 305-755-7804.