The Chicago White Sox and the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital kicked off the second year of a partnership to fight childhood obesity on April 11 at Langford Community Academy on Chicago’s South Side. White Sox pitcher Donnie Veal, White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas and team mascot Southpaw led the spirited gathering to motivate more than 300 preschool through fifth graders to be active and make healthy eating choices. Laurence Holmes from Chicago’s 670 The Score and NBC 5 served as the event’s emcee.
This unique collaboration between Comer Children’s Hospital and the White Sox is part of the hospital’s ongoing initiative aimed at addressing the obesity epidemic in its neighboring South Side communities and creating models for successful programs nationwide. It builds on an after-school program called Power Up, developed by Deborah Burnet, MD, professor of medicine and pediatrics and section chief of general internal medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine, offering weekly nutrition and physical activity sessions for grade school children.
This year, the University of Chicago Medicine is again offering young Sox fans a chance to become a Power Up All Star by participating in a 13-week challenge designed to get kids excited about exercise and nutrition. Those who sign up and complete the weekly activities will receive an official Power Up All Stars certificate and T-shirt, plus a chance to throw out the first pitch at the August 17 White Sox game, or a spot in the Bulls/Sox Academy baseball clinic this fall.