Live Well Willoughby returns June 11

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In addition to the Urban Obstacle Race Course for Live Well Willoughby attendees to try, there is a full schedule of free classes to choose from.

By Patricia Nugent

A community can only be as healthy and well as the people who live in it.” —Chad Gourley, founder of the LiveWell Initiative

This grassroots effort to connect people to local health and wellness resources is picking up momentum, kicking off the summer with the Live Well Willoughby festival at Wes Point Park, on Saturday, June 11.

“As we took stock of the positive impact our events had on the community, from new businesses moving into town to a shifting mindset among local citizens, we decided it was time to broaden our reach,” says Chad, who shares the group just received 501(C)3 non-profit status. “This is a foundational year. We are on a mission to inspire healthy living that creates positive change in our communities.”

Part of the broader reach included the introduction of Live Well Chardon last year (don’t miss this year’s festival on Saturday, August 20), and the start-up of Live Well Cleveland, set for Saturday, July 30, on the East Bank of the Flats.

“Thanks to tons of positive energy and connections made, our initiative is following the vision and hopes we had when we started it in 2018,” he adds. “We’re thankful to our loyal sponsors over the years, including Heinen’s Club Fx, Marous Brothers Construction, Windsor Laurelwood, Vital Health Partners, Mimi Magazine and The Bar Athletics, just to name a few.”

The Initiative now has an energetic and passionate board and team in place to take it to the next level.

Chad goes on to say the festivals are just the tip of the iceberg regarding the work they intend to do to position Cleveland as the wellness mecca of the Midwest. We are hoping to go beyond the festivals and become a regional resource for community wellness.”

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Live Well Willoughby attendees can enjoy healthy food samples from local restaurants, see fitness demonstrations and enjoy complimentary health assessments, chair massages, musicians and street performers.

Movement and Healing Classes

In addition to the Urban Obstacle Race Course for attendees to try, here’s the schedule of other free events at Live Well Willoughby:

• 9-10 a.m. - Yoga with Natalie Lorber, Harmony Studios
• 10:15-10:45 a.m. - Zumba with Wendy Decapite, SKW Fitness
• 11 a.m.-noon - Intro to Bachata Class with Kelli Love, Fred Astaire Dance Studio Willoughby
• Noon-1p.m. - Sound Healing and Yoga with Erika Whites
• 1:15-2:15 p.m. - Posture, Gait, Alignment Exercises with Ryan Manista, The Bar Athletics

“This collaborative event is meant to inspire, engage, and, most importantly, educate people to achieve their healthiest self in mind, body and spirit,” says Chad. “Simply put, we want people to thrive.”

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., festival attendees can enjoy healthy food samples from local restaurants, see fitness demonstrations and enjoy complimentary health assessments, chair massages, musicians and street performers.

Willoughby Mayor Bob Fiala says he looks forward to Live Well Willoughby coming back to the area.

“This one-day event represents a year-round effort to inspire our community to live a healthy lifestyle,” he says. “The Bar Athletics team and their volunteers have worked hard to plan an educational and interactive event for all attendees, and we are excited to be a part of this growing initiative each year.”

Live Well Willoughby is a free event that takes place at Wes Point Park at Euclid Avenue and River Street in downtown Willoughby. There’s still time to become a vendor or sponsor at the event. Register at Linktr.ee/LiveWellInitiative. For more information, visit LiveWellInitiative.orgor call 440-975-6176.