First year milestone

  • Dietician Vivienne Aronowitz gives a cooking demo for a crowd at Blue Zones Project North Hawaii’s kick-off event last October at Kahilu Town Hall. The one-year anniversary event, free and open to the public, will be held at the same location on Oct. 29. (COURTESY PHOTO/BZNH, GARY HOFHEIMER PHOTOGRAPHY)
    Dietician Vivienne Aronowitz gives a cooking demo for a crowd at Blue Zones Project North Hawaii’s kick-off event last October at Kahilu Town Hall. The one-year anniversary event, free and open to the public, will be held at the same location on Oct. 29. (COURTESY PHOTO/BZNH, GARY HOFHEIMER PHOTOGRAPHY)

WAIMEA — Blue Zones Project invites residents and families throughout the region to join in celebrating North Hawaii’s one-year anniversary as a Blue Zones Project demonstration site on Oct. 29 at Kahilu Town Hall in Waimea.

Sponsored by HMSA, Blue Zones Project kicked off in North Hawaii in the same month last year in the same venue as the upcoming anniversary event, which will highlight all the successes achieved over the past year. From 2-5 p.m., the town hall will be transformed into a mini-version of North Hawaii, where guests can take a Walking School Bus tour of all the towns participating, including Waikoloa, Waimea, Kohala and Honokaa, and learn about the progress each community has made since joining the movement last October to make healthy choices easier.

“This started out as a vision among a group of our friends,” Tina Stuart said, a Waimea resident and Blue Zones Project volunteer committee member. “To see this vision transform into reality is so exciting. I am grateful to all of our neighbors, friends, families and local organizations for helping create a healthier and happier environment for our community, especially our kupuna and our keiki.”

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko will perform Taiko drumming while the Honokaa High Jazz Band entertains. Free activities and demonstrations will include the Keiki Fun Zone, an Adopt-a-Dog booth by the Hawaii Island Humane Society, a healthy cooking demo, gardening demo, walking and potluck Moai (hui) sign-up stands and a volunteer fair.

In the last year, Sea DandeLion Cafe, Big Island Brewhaus, KTA Waimea and Parker School have become Blue Zones Project Approved organizations. New ones to be announced at the event.

North Hawaii is seeking to engage more organizations and residents in the movement and help the community achieve Blue Zones Community certification. Restaurants, schools, worksites, grocery stores and faith-based organizations that are interested in signing up for Blue Zones Project will be able to register at the anniversary celebration. Community members who would like to get involved will also be able to sign-up on-site.

“The hard work that community leaders and volunteers have put in over the past year has truly been inspirational,” Carol Ignacio said, Blue Zones Project Community Program Manager for Hawaii Island. “To see all parts of North Hawaii come together to take on a health and well-being initiative of this magnitude with so much success is impressive, and I can’t be more proud to be a part of this wonderful community.”

Blue Zones Project

The community-led, well-being improvement initiative is designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy and social networks. Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is inspired by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five regions of the world — or Blue Zones — with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older.

Blue Zones Project incorporates Buettner’s findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being. Currently, 27 communities in seven states — including Hawaii — have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 1.7 million Americans. For further details, go to www.bluezonesproject.com.

Event info: Sue at 564-4762 or Susan.DelaCruz@Healthways.com

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