Nonprofit to host health fair, walk-a-thon this weekend

Published 6:40 pm Thursday, September 6, 2018

CHOCOWINITY — Promoting better health for Beaufort County residents will be the main focuses of a special event taking place in Chocowinity this weekend.

From 8 a.m. to noon, Chocowinity Recreation Center will host a the inaugural “Choose YOU! Walk for Life,” an event hosted by Zing Life Services, a Durham-based nonprofit founded by Aurora native NyKedtra Brown. In addition to a walk-a-thon to raise money for the nonprofit’s mission of addressing health disparities in rural North Carolina, the event will include health screenings, vendors, prizes and activities for kids.

“It’s really an event to help people make health a priority in their lives,” Zing Life Services Health Education Specialist Jai Smith said. “We are a nonprofit healthcare agency. We provide health education, healthcare training such as CPR and first aid training and we also have a nurse triage service.”

The organization was founded in 2014 by healthcare professionals who have lived and worked in rural areas as a way to address health disadvantages faced by rural populations due to location, economics and lack of resources. Smith says that Zing Life works to address these issues through training and health education.

Partnering with Zing Life Services, a number of local organizations will be on hand as resources during the event, including Vidant Beaufort Hospital, Vidant Family Medicine, Access East, the Beaufort County Health Department, Beaufort Area Transit and the Mid-East Commission Area Agency on Aging.

Interestingly, both Brown and Smith have local connections in Beaufort County. While Brown was raised in Aurora, Smith grew up in Washington. When looking for a site to host the organization’s first walk-a-thon, the two decided to start close to home.

“We chose Chocowinity to give people south of the river an opportunity to come to the event,” Smith said. “We chose Beaufort County because I was born and raised here, so this is home for me. For NyKedtra Brown, Beaufort County is home for her, it made perfect sense to have our first annual event in Beaufort County.”

Proceeds from the Walk-a-thon will go towards providing training for CPR service, providing healthcare programs and assisting with healthcare costs for select individuals.

Registration for the walk-a-thon is $15 per person for ages 10 and older. For more information about the organization and the event, visit