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Hollywood High Hike for Health and Wellness

California weather was at its best on Monday, April 14 as more than 120 students, parents, staff and teachers from Hollywood High School joined with representatives from The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health, UMMA Health Clinic and Kaiser Permanente to enjoy a day-long celebration promoting exercise and health.

Dubbed the “Sheik-A-Thon” in reference to the high school’s Sheik mascot, the event featured a 4-mile hike through Griffith Park to the renowned Hollywood sign nestled in the hills above Los Angeles.

Local councilmember Tom LaBonge and Hollywood High School principal Alejandra Sanchez kicked off the event with opening remarks before the crowd ascended up the canyon path.

“At Hollywood High School, we are looking at 'school' in a more holistic way, in terms of the services we can provide to the students", explained Sanchez. “When students come through our doors, we don’t just look at their test scores but try to see them as a whole person. We want to support them in all areas of their well-being.”

“I think it’s such a great event, a great thing to expose the kids to different aspects of L.A. nature and lifelong exercise ideas,” said Cindy Dyer, the school counselor. “It gets all of us out here for a great workout and a lifelong lesson.”

The Sheik-A-Thon also served as a school fundraiser. Students were encouraged in advance to recruit sponsors among family, neighbors and friends to support their participation in the event. The proceeds raised go to support Hollywood High School’s athletics programs, the school’s F.A.M.E. (fit, active, motivated, and empowered) Health Club and to retrofit the school’s weight room.
Danielle Galloway, an 11th-grade student and member of Hollywood High School’s Healthy Athlete Committee, was glowing with smiles after finishing the hike.

“It’s very exciting and it’s a great workout,” said Galloway. At first, I thought we were going on a simple walk. But then, all the students had so much energy that we decided to run and team up, making it more of a workout. To actually reach the Hollywood sign was a mission accomplished.”

“This event showed me that, not only can athletes do this, but others can do it too, ” exclaimed 11th Grader, Yanelly Berrios.

The hike ended with a healthy picnic at the bottom of the hill followed by fun activities, recognition awards and closing remarks.

“The hike was a pretty nice experience, something new for me,” explained 12-grader Marco Cerrato. “The destination was pretty exciting because it’s the first time I actually got up close to see the Hollywood Sign. Most of the time I would see it driving downtown or in the movies. Next time, I’ll say ‘oh look, I’ve actually been there!’ and remember how hard it is to get up there too!”

Visit The LA Trust for Children’s Health Facebook page for more photo highlights from the day.

Learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s Los Angeles Medical Center and its work to support community health.