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Walk from obesity raises funds, awareness

The Smokey Hills made the perfect setting for the 2009 Walk from Obesity held in conjunction with the Center for Weight Management's "Weekend in the Pines" retreat.

Twenty-five participants helped to raise $3,285 on behalf of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Foundation and Obesity Action Coalition. More than that, however, the walk helps to increase research funding for morbid obesity, improve awareness of the negative stigma associated with obesity and provide educational information for all those affected by the disease.

The walkers met at the Village of the Smokey Hills as part of the Center's "Weekend in the Pines" annual conference and retreat and walked with other participants from more than 70 cities across the nation in support of the fight against obesity.

The Center for Weight Management is a service of St. Joseph's Area Health Services and Innovis Health of Park Rapids. It has been named a Center of Excellence by the ASMBS as well as a Blue Distinction Center by Blue Cross Blue Shield. It recently became a referral site by Ontario's Ministry of Health.

The Walk from Obesity will be held next year on Oct. 2 at the center's 2010 "Weekend in the Pines."