Hundreds of kids flocked to Gerlach field to participate in football-related activities and hang out with the St. Louis Rams cheerleaders and mascot
FORT LEONARD WOOD — Representatives of the St. Louis Rams were at Gerlach Field on Fort Leonard Wood Wednesday as a part of the NFL Play 60 campaign to promote healthy eating and exercise habits to children in the area.
Hundreds of kids showed up to go through various football-related activities such as throwing, catching and kicking the pigskin as well as testing their speed, leaping abilities and agility.
Photo opportunities were provided with the cheerleaders and the Rams mascot, Rampage.
Col. Andrew Herbst, Fort Leonard Wood's Garrison commander, introduced the Rams and gave a short speech before the event.
Later, Herbst talked about the importance of building a foundation of healthy habits at a young age
“We need to really ensure that our kids start young, knowing video games isn't the most important things in their lives,” he said. “Hopefully that will stick through them through their adulthood.”
Nicole Woodie, the Community Outreach and Player Involvement Manager for the St. Louis Rams, said one of the things she stresses at Play 60 campaigns is how important the role of health plays into other aspects of life.
“We want to make sure kids know they need to be active and healthy so they can live long lives, play and do all the things they want to do and achieve their dreams,” Woodies said. “Because if you're not healthy, you can't do that.”
Woodie said the Rams organization agreed to do one of their events at Fort Leonard Wood as a token of appreciation.
“We know how important the work all the soldiers and active military service members are doing here at Fort Leonard Wood,” she said. “Even though it is a little bit farther, we thought it was really important to take the time to come down here and let the kids and family know we do appreciate what they're doing, we do support them and we care about them.”
Michelle Kolcun was one of the cheerleaders that made the trip for the event.
She said it was a treat to see all of the kids having a blast while getting in their exercise.
“Military kids are the best,” Kolcun said. “They are so respectful, they're excited we are out here today. They're really into the activities.”
She may be a little bias though.
Kolcun isn't just a cheerleader, she is an Active Duty Captain in the Air Force. She is stationed at Scott Air Force base in St. Clair County, Illinois where she serves as a medical service corps officer.
“I was so happy that I was able to take some leave and come out today for this event,” Kolcun said. “It means a lot to me to give back to my family, friends, colleagues and brothers and sisters in services.”
Not to mention it is for a good cause.
One of the biggest takeaways for the kids was that it doesn't have to be a hard task to get exercise in and eat well.
“Being healthy doesn't mean you have to go run five laps and stuff lima beans down your throat,” Woodie said. “You can have delicious, healthy food and you can have fun while [exercising].”