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On Friday, October 23, KEEN USA held its first-ever symposium. Entitled, "Mom, I Want to Play!" the symposium focused on the need for fitness programs for kids with disabilities in light of the greater childhood obesity epidemic, with which kids with disabilities are disproportionately affected. Held at and sponsored by Dentons, Inclusion Advocate Bob Lujano was the keynote speaker, and Fitness Trainer and KEEN volunteer Steve Ettinger was the featured speaker. KEEN Founder Elliott Portnoy convened the day, and the afternoon's panel was moderated by Donald Rosenstein, MD, a KEEN parent and past president of KEEN's Greater DC affiliate.


Steve Ettinger, Don Rosenstein,
Elliott Portnoy and Bob Lujano


Garrett "Garrie" Barnes addressed the group on the great health benefits she has received as an open water swimmer with Special Olympic. Garrie also works for Special Olympics as a receptionist.

KEEN Greater DC athlete, Yonina Fairley, front left, led the group in "Prouds" and the "Hokey Pokey," signature closing events at KEEN programs. Also picutred, Adrienne Fairley, Joanna Winsborough, National Development Director KEEN USA; Kate Hurson, Executive Director KEEN USA; Beth Wenger, Senior Program Director, KEEN Greater DC; and Beata Okulska, Executive Directer KEEN Greater DC.



Moderator Donald Rosenstein, MD, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, asked panelists Cheryl Richardson - Senior Director of programs for SHAPE America, Janice Williams - Senior Vice President for program development at the National Capital YMCA, and Kate Hurson - Executive Director KEEN USA, about opportunities and barriers to fitness programs for youth with disabilities.