Avedis Foundation celebrates Health Week with variety of activities in Shawnee

Tina Bridenstine
The Shawnee News-Star

The Avedis Foundation is celebrating Health Week starting today and continuing through May 27, with activities for all ages to promote healthy habits and active lifestyles. The events, Avedis said in a press release, are open to the public and most of them are free.

Avedis President and CEO Kathy Laster said they have partnered with several local groups to “present a week of family-friendly activities that will bring the community together for a fun and healthy kickoff to summer.”


The week will kick off with season-opening activities at Shawnee Splash Water Park, 100 E. Highland, which will open Friday (with season pass holders able to get in as early as noon). General admission cost to the park still applies, and there will be giveaways and activities throughout the weekend.


Saturday, the fun will continue with a Neon Splash Dance Party at Shawnee Splash from 8:30 to 10 p.m. The dance party will feature a DJ, music and pool games. Admission is free, with space limited to 125 people.

Tuesday, May 25

Tuesday, May 25, Terri White, CEO of Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, will be guest speaker as part of the Avedis Foundation Speaker Series. White will present from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Life.Church, located at 5113 N. Harrison. Those who would like to attend in person were asked to RSVP by May 18, however, the event will also be broadcast on Facebook Live at facebook.com/avedisfoundation for those who would still like to watch.

Also on Tuesday, there will be a summer cooking class and tasting with SSM Health Registered Dietitian Andrea Beck. The class, which will provide cooking tips and tastings of healthy foods, will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. at Boy Scout Park, 1500 E. Main. Afterward, participants will be invited to join in a workout activity. It is recommended guests bring exercise or yoga mats.

Wednesday, May 26

Those who are 55 and older will be able to take part in a come-and-go National Senior Health and Fitness Day Wednesday, May 26. There will be free fitness activities for seniors, including an Enhance Fitness class, Pickleball and more, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Senior Recreation Center, 401 N. Bell.

Thursday, May 27

On Thursday, May 27, there will be a co-ed Kickball at the Y tournament for youth, adults and seniors. Teams arrive at 9 a.m. at the YMCA Lions Club ball fields next to the Shawnee YMCA at 700 W. Saratoga. The double-elimination tournament is free, and teams can register at sports@shawneeymca.org or by calling 405-273-4386. Players must be at least 13 years old to enter, and teams should have as many as eight players. The three age brackets are youth (13-17), adults (18-54) and seniors (55 and older).

Also on Thursday, there will be a Family Water Safety Night from 5 to 7 p.m. at Shawnee Splash for families and caregivers. The event will teach caregivers water safety strategies for handling emergencies, and children will be able to receive water safety lessons. Admission is free.

Throughout the week

Area residents are also encouraged to explore Shawnee's trails throughout the week, and to check out instructor-led fitness classes that take place daily on the YMCA's Facebook Live.

According to a post on the Shawnee Youth Coalition's Facebook page, there will be photo challenges with the trails and opportunities to be entered to win a prize, with a drawing being done on Friday, May 28.

“We will be posting challenges on this page as well as on our other social media pages. You can find them all here: https://linktr.ee/ShawneeYouthCoalition” the post reads.

Shawnee's trails include the airport walking trail, Bryan Street Trail, Boy Scout Park and the Shawnee Middle School Trail.

For more information about daily, self-guided walks on Shawnee's trails, follow the Shawnee Youth Coalition on Facebook.

To check out daily classes at the YMCA, go to their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/shawneeymca.

For more information about the 2021 Health Week and its events, visit the Avedis Foundation Facebook page at facebook.com/avedisfoundation.

Sponsors for Avedis Health Week activities include Shawnee Parks and Recreation, Shawnee Senior Recreation Center, SSM Health Shawnee, Blue Zones Project, Shawnee YMCA, Shawnee Youth Coalition and United Way of Pottawatomie County.