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Tokay High School: Walk for the Health of It

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Lodi Memorial Foundation hosts Walk for the Health of It every spring, an event that encourages community members to get out and be active, even those who are unable to walk. To assist these participants, the Tokay High School football team steps off the field, and the players step behind a wheelchair!

They arrive early on event day to be trained in wheelchair safety protocols, and then head to two different assisted living facilities to pick up their Walk for the Health of It partner for the event. Many of these participants are patiently waiting in the lobby when the football players arrive. The players caringly wheel their walk partner over to Lodi Memorial Hospital to enjoy all the pre-event festivities. They stroll them from booth to booth, engage with them in warmup exercises, enjoy snacks and fun conversations. When it’s game time, the football players take their walk partner in their wheelchairs to the starting line! The walk is a mile long.

“I love seeing the faces of the people the players are assisting. They look forward to our boys helping them out every year. The kids have so much fun talking and hearing old football stories from some of the men using wheelchairs. It’s also a great way for our kids to bond outside of school and football. Our kids leave feeling very fortunate to give back,” stated head coach Collin Rhoads.
When a few football players were asked what they enjoyed most about the day, they had similar responses.

“I enjoy talking to the senior citizens, having a good laugh with them, good conversations, and hanging out with the team,” said tight end Jeremiah Rodriguez

“What I enjoy most about the day is going through the festivities and the pop-up tents with the elderly person that I am assisting,” shared linebacker Ryan Evans.

It’s a joy to see these young football players giving their all, both on and off the field!