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Walk Georgia Night draws 300-plus participants to Hawks-Nuggets game, related festivities By Kathryn Schiliro

About 350 participants scored tickets to last Saturday’s Walk Georgia Night with the Atlanta Hawks. This is an annual event offered by the University of Georgia Extension’s Walk Georgia program that gets attendees involved in special activities and into the game for just $15.

“What fun we had March 15th with Walk Georgia,” Elaine Mangham, of Molena, Ga., said of her family’s experience at Walk Georgia Night with the Hawks. “With high-fives, cheers, excitement and glowing faces, the children of all ages had a perfect time. Back in our seats for the game, we got to see great basketball, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Denver Nuggets! What a special night for all of us.”

Before the game began, Walk Georgia Night ticket holders sat court-side to watch the Hawks’ pre-game practice. Select participants were chosen to take part in the fan tunnel, where the players high-fived them as they took to the court at game time.

To complete the evening, Walk Georgia Night attendees, clad in event T-shirts they received as part of the Walk Georgia Night package, watched the Hawks defeat the Denver Nuggets, 97-92.

“Walk Georgia, you do so much in so many areas to improve our health, expand our minds and organize adventure. Please keep on doing what you do. You make such a positive, life-changing difference,” Mangham said.

This is the third year the UGA Extension program has partnered with the Hawks to offer Walk Georgia Night, and attendance for 2014 was almost double what it was last year.

“It’s giving exposure to Walk Georgia and it gives us the opportunity to bring it to more people,” Fulton County Extension Agent and Walk Georgia Night Coordinator Kisha Faulk said.

A no-cost, online program, Walk Georgia works to combat obesity in the state at the most local level through UGA Extension and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Walk Georgia is in its seventh year of providing Georgians the opportunity to virtually “walk” the state through the use of an online physical activity log and corresponding Web-based map. With two, 12-week sessions each year, the program encourages physical activity among Georgians of all ages.

Through a $1 million, three-year grant, Walk Georgia is partnering with The Coca-Cola Foundation to achieve the goal of growing to 100,000 participants over the next three years as well as working to decrease obesity in each Georgia county by 5 percent. The grant will provide for an enhanced website, improved Walk Georgia services and increased growth of the program at the local level.

The spring 2014 Walk Georgia campaign runs through April 26, and registration is open through April 15 on the Walk Georgia website, www.WalkGeorgia.org.

For more information on Walk Georgia, see www.WalkGeorgia.org. For more information on the UGA Obesity Initiative, see obesity.ovpr.uga.edu.

(Kathryn Schiliro is the Walk Georgia editor and help desk manager. More information about Walk Georgia visit www.walkgeorgia.org.)

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Walk Georgia.

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Walk Georgia Logo/WG participant Andrea Gonzalez running in a 5K

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