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Greensburg Salem seeking investments on fitness

| Thursday, May 8, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

Many Greensburg Salem School District residents will receive letters soon seeking contributions to buy new equipment for a center aimed at improving student health.

A committee consisting of prominent district residents wants to purchase new equipment for the Greensburg Salem Wellness and Fitness Center, formerly the Alumni Fitness Center, at the high school.

“What we're looking at is kids that need exercise,” said Jennings Womack, committee chairman. “There are a lot of them. We're looking at it not only for sports programs but teaching kids a healthy lifestyle.”

The equipment will replace other equipment put in when the center was started years ago.

“We were fortunate to be able to purchase equipment that was useful initially,” said Lynn Jobe, a committee member and the district's athletic director. “Now that we've gotten our use out if it, it's worn, some is obsolete ... and it's time to replace it.

The committee hopes to raise about $185,000 as part of a three-phase effort centered on foundations, businesses and individuals, Womack said.

So far, $51,300 has been raised, he said.

“We're just getting started,” Womack added. “This is going to take us well into the summer.”

Contributions are tax-deductible.

The center will be used by both athletes in district sports program and students for their health-class labs, Womack and Jobe said.

Often people who learn to exercise at a young age continue to work out into adulthood, Jobe said.

“It's a great program we're trying to get off the ground,” she said. “We're trying to give kids the opportunity to be healthy and fit.“

The equipment will be installed in phases, with district coaches, physical education instructors and others knowledgeable about exercise devices selecting what is purchased, Jobe said.

The mailings for contributions are expected to go out in the next few weeks, Jobe said.

Womack anticipated the funding goal can be reached.

“I'm hopeful,” he said. “Can I give a guarantee we'll get it? No, but I'm optimistic.”

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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