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Innovative Health Care Magazine

C R I M F I T N E S S F O U N D A T I O N 4 0 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y Racing Success for The city of Flint, Michigan has 114 Innovative Health - Summer 2016 long been a bellwether of national sentiment. When American industry flourished and the economy was strong, Flint was seen as a prosperous city, full of opportunity. When American manufacturing started to move overseas and millions lost their jobs, Flint became a symbol of the struggling blue collar worker and the shrinking middle class. Recently, Flint’s water crisis has once again brought the city to the forefront of the American consciousness, indicative of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and failing public institutions. For many people, Flint is synonymous with disaster, but that narrative fails to tell the whole story. Flint has had its fair share of struggles over the years, but the one thing that never changes is the strength and resiliency of its residents. Over the last four decades, the Crim Fitness Foundation has grown into a successful nonprofit, all while remaining committed to Flint. Launched in 1977 as a way to raise money for the Special Olympics, the Bobby Crim 10 Mile Road Race was the brainchild of Michigan House Speaker Bobby Crim and his administrative assistant, Lois Craig. Raising $30,170 (equivalent of almost $120,000 today), the race was such a success that organizers decided it should be more than just a one-time fundraiser. In 1985, The Crim Road Race, Inc. became a nonprofit which allowed them to widen their scope and assist more charitable organizations. By 2005, the Crim races were a huge annual event for Flint, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world. That year, the nonprofit became known as the Crim Fitness Foundation (CFF), and this name change signaled a desire to transform their role in the community in order to maximize their positive impact. Instead of focusing on physical fitness and hosting the annual HealthPlus Crim Festival of Races, the CFF wanted to promote community wellness as a whole. Happy, healthy individuals are much more likely to care for and protect their community, meaning that the health of Flint’s residents is hugely important for the health of the city. For years, the CFF focused solely on programs that promoted exercise for children and adults. But physical activity alone isn’t doesn’t make an individual healthy. The CFF began to take a more holistic approach to wellness, adding nutrition education to their school programs and giving children, parents, and educators the ability to make healthy dietary choices. In 2012 the CFF began a program they call “mindfulness.” For a few minutes every day, students sit quietly with their eyes closed, “center” themselves, and focus on their breathing. Many of Flint’s students live in chaotic circumstances, and incorporating mindfulness into their lives gives them a chance to step back from the stress for a moment and get in touch with what they are thinking and feeling. LAUNCHED IN 1977 AS A WAY TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS, THE BOBBY CRIM 10 MILE ROAD RACE WAS THE BRAINCHILD OF MICHIGAN HOUSE SPEAKER BOBBY CRIM... /// BY LINDSAY CRAWFORD


Innovative Health Care Magazine
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