Hundreds of Go Gurnee Champions were in attendance at the health initiative's anniversary season kickoff event on Sunday, May 7, at Viking Park in Gurnee.
Go Gurnee, presented by Gurnee Park District, is a local wellness movement designed to increase people's health and well-being through activities, education and community collaboration.
Walkers were encouraged to bring their well-behaved and leashed dogs to the event to receive their official "Go" pup bandannas.
"We were so pleased to see so many smiling faces, the sun shining and lots of cute Go Gurnee pups at the event," said Jennifer Gilbert, director of marketing and community relations with Gurnee Park District.
According to Michigan State University, dog owners are 34 percent more likely to fit in 150 minutes of walking per week than nonowners.
"We really wanted to incorporate the entire family into the Go Gurnee event," Gilbert said. "There are so many benefits to walking that we thought it was important to ensure all of our residents -- including our furry friends -- have plenty of opportunities to build healthy habits."
At the event, walkers heard inspirational talks from Vice President of the GPD Park Board of Commissioners Libby Baker, GPD Executive Director Susie Kuruvilla, Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik and Lake County Health Department Health Equity Coordinator John Ashworth, followed by a free raffle and 30 minute walk.
"We could not be more grateful for our partners. We saw representation from all Gurnee municipal agencies, Lake County Health Department as well as Waukegan and Antioch Park Districts. We are stronger when we work together and that is what Go Gurnee is all about: coming together to support the entire community," Gilbert said.
Organizations that partnered with the Gurnee Park District to make the raffle possible included: Baxter Credit Union, Rainforest Café, Jump America, Very Import Pooch Grooming, Treat Diva, Salon Bliss, Penn Station, Momcorn and FitNation.
For information on future Go Gurnee events, tips and pop-up prizes, visit www.Facebook.com/gogurnee or www.gogurnee.com.