Conference Banner Conference Banner Conference Banner

Passion for Fitness Becomes Outreach

posted on July 02, 2014, under Church by

Employees of Lee Memorial Health System are surrounded by participants of the Fort Myers Fun Run who raised $3,000 for Golisano Children's Hospital's Mission Nutrition program. (Photo: Terry Wiik)

Employees of Lee Memorial Health System are surrounded by participants of the Fort Myers Fun Run who raised $3,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Mission Nutrition program. (Photo: Terry Wiik)

by Sherryl Ford

Sunday, March 16, was a crisp spring morning in Fort Myers, Fla. Idyllic was a perfect weather description as Fort Myers Church held its inaugural 5K/1M Fun Run and Health Fair. “It was a runner’s paradise,” said Fort Myers Pastor Javier Diaz who turned his passion for physical fitness into a vehicle for ministry.

More than 220 runners and walkers registered for this premier event. Hundreds of family and friends cheered them on. Many participants were graduates of the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP), an active church ministry.

One goal for the day was to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Mission Nutrition program. Golisano is part of Lee Memorial Health System and is the only pediatric acute care facility in southwest Florida. The 5K/1M Fun Run and Health Fair raised more than $3,000 for this cause.

“Your passion and leadership helped to make the 5K Fun Run a big success!” said Jim Nathan, President and CEO of Lee Memorial Health System. “Your kindness and efforts will have a profound impact on our community. Please accept my genuine thanks and appreciation and know that you are making a difference in the lives of others.”

Another goal was to provide a fun, educational event to help people make informed choices about nutrition and lifestyle. Many exhibits offered information and gifts including: dental, vision, chiropractic, physical and massage therapy, the Police Department SWAT team obstacle course, Lee County Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services, nutrition, and fitness. WINK TV, the local CBS affiliate station, provided live news coverage.

Pastor Diaz credits his team of planners for the event’s tremendous success: Kathy Randall, Jeff Perry, and Diaz’ wife, Dinorah. “Passion, purpose, and planning are the keys to effective outreach,” he says.

In order to connect to the community and let them know the church cares about them, Pastor Diaz consistently challenges the church family. “Whatever your passion is, it can be a platform for ministry to your church and to your community.”


Leave a Reply