PRIZE DRAWING FOR LOS ANGELES LAKERS’ RETIREMENT OF PAU GASOL’S JERSEY

Gasol Foundation USA is celebrating the Los Angeles Lakers’ retirement of number 16 to honor Lakers legend and Gasol Foundation USA Co-Founder, Pau Gasol, on March 7, 2023. As part of the celebration, Gasol Foundation USA is hosting a drawing for two game tickets and a meet-and-greet with Pau Gasol. One lucky winner will receive two tickets to Laker game/ceremony

and a meet-and-greet with Laker great Pau Gasol.

The retirement of Pau Gasol’s jersey by the Los Angeles Lakers will take place as the Lakers face the Memphis Grizzlies (Gasol’s first NBA team) at Crypto.com Arena.

The prize drawing for the two game tickets and meet-and-greet with Pau has begun, with entries at $25 each (multiple entries are allowed). The deadline to enter is noon PST on March 1, 2023, and the winner will be drawn at 4pm PST on March 1st. 

Pau played for the Lakers during seven seasons with three All Star selections–and helped lead Los Angeles to back-to-back championships. He is “humbled and excited” about this great recognition by such a great franchise. He is delighted to share this moment with his family and friends, and supporters of the Gasol Foundation. 

Gasol Foundation USA, in collaboration with Keck School of Medicine of USC, is looking for overweight/obese participants age 12-16 for a research study in Southern California. This scientific study will analyze the effects of a home exercise program on health outcomes for overweight/obese youth. Learn more and register here

The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California teaches and trains physicians, biomedical scientists and other healthcare professionals, conducts medical research, and treats patients. Founded in 1885, it is the second oldest medical school in California after the UCSF School of Medicine.

Gasol Foundation USA’s Galactic Sports winter programming, in collaboration with Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation, will begin in January 2023 at the following locations: El Cariso Community Regional Park (Sylmar, CA), Del Aire Park (Hawthorne, CA), Pamela Park (Duarte, CA), Amelia Mayberry Park (Whittier, CA), Ruben F Salazar Park (East Los Angeles, CA), and Lennox Park (Lennox, CA). Register today – and we’ll see you there! 

Galactic Sports is a community-based program promoting sports and healthy habits. The goal of the program is to reduce risk of childhood obesity among children by engaging them in sports and promoting these healthy habits: diet, physical activity, sleep, and emotional well-being. Galactic Sports is for children ages 6-13. The activities are designed for beginners to gain confidence in the sport.

Gasol Foundation USA presented at the 2022 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Expo in Boston. Our presentation poster was based on the pilot of the ENERGY program and its impact on children’s physical activity and health in both the United States and Spain. We are proud to be invited to present at the APHA conference in order to share our childhood obesity work, engage with public health experts, and collaborate with other advocates. We look forward to expanding our research for the benefit of children’s health!

On Thursday, September 15th, Gasol Foundation celebrated our new partnership with the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation with a kick-off event held at Ruben F. Salazar Park. We are officially up and running for the Fall and currently providing our Galactic Sports programming at five Los Angeles County Regional parks (Ruben F. Salazar Park in East Los Angeles, El Cariso Community Regional Park in Sylmar, Pamela Park in Duarte, Sorensen Park in Whittier, and Lennox Park in Lennox) and the Los Angels Boys and Girls Club in Lincoln Heights.

We would like to thank Supervisor Hilda Solis and Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, Norma Garcia, for recognizing our work to reduce the risk of childhood obesity through sports and healthy habits. 

Gasol Foundation US has convened a new Advisory Board of health and education experts to better empower children (and their parents) in their health and wellness—especially in preventing and overcoming childhood obesity. 

The six-member board is composed of recognized leaders in their fields (three M.D.’s and three Ed.D.’s) who bring a depth of experience and insights about child wellness and development to the national nonprofit organization:

Dr Ilan Shapiro is a pediatrician and is Chief Health Correspondent and Medical Affairs Officer at AltaMed Health Services; Dr Elisa Nicholas is a pediatrician and CEO at TCC Family Health; Dr David Skaggs is an orthopedic surgeon and Director of Pediatric Orthopedics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Roger Brossmer, Ed.D., is Assistant Superintendent at Downey, CA Unified School District; Georgia Lazo, Ed.D., is Principal at UCLA Lab School; and Tonikiaa Orange, Ed.D., is Director of Culture and Equity Project at UCLA Center X.

As Gasol Foundation US continues to expand its impact on children’s wellness by teaching proven healthy habits, This Advisory Board will be instrumental to the quality and effectiveness of our evidence-based children’s programming. 

In November 2021, the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors adopted a motion to proclaim November Los Angeles County Diabetes Awareness Month. The main objective was to create a means of educating youth and their families about ways to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes, which currently effects 90-95% of all people with diabetes. As a result of this motion, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was asked to partner with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, K-12 school districts, and community-based organizations to improve access to healthy meals at schools. This included efforts to reduce food waste and provide culturally relevant resources about diabetes awareness and prevention.

 

With input from the Los Angeles County Office of Education and other stakeholders, Public Health developed a Diabetes and Prediabetes Awareness Toolkit, which will support existing education codes that require schools to provide type 2 diabetes information to students. Gasol Foundation is proud to be included in this initiative- our feature can be found on page 8 of this toolkit. This Diabetes and Prediabetes Awareness Toolkit will be shared with various schools across the county, thus allowing us to empower even more children through healthy habit promotion.

Components of the toolkit include a description of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, low and no-cost resources for schools, including nutrition education and physical activity curricula, resources to create a healthy school environment, implementation guides on reducing food waste by establishing share tables, and resources for schools to improve worksite wellness among teachers and staff. The toolkit also includes sample announcements for parents and students.

To view the the Diabetes and Prediabetes Awareness Toolkit click here

On Saturday, April 30th, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was transformed into a buzzing center of fun where kids and teens enjoyed a variety of activities including rock climbing, wall painting, gardening stations, dance, and interactive sporting activities!

A Day Of Play For LA was a free event that connected families with activities and resources to help their children stay healthy and resilient during what has been an extremely difficult time the last two years. This event celebrated making fitness fun and introduced kids and families to an array of YMCA programs and community resources that encouraged them to stay active and healthy.

Gasol Foundation provided an interactive play area equipped with an activity spinning wheel and an obstacle course. Kids worked up a sweat and had so much fun participating in the course- jumping over the mini hurdles, skipping through the ladder drills, and sprinting through the cones! They were awarded their choice choice of healthy prizes such as jump ropes, stress balls, and sleep masks!

We cannot thank the YMCA Los Angeles enough for hosting such a fun, filled day and bringing families and communities together to celebrate healthy living. We are extremely honored that we could provide healthy resources and activities to hundreds of families at a time when they need it most.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. The last two years have brought many challenges that can be emotional, overwhelming, and stressful to say the least. The CDC reports about 4 out of 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorders. It is common knowledge that the pandemic has increased emotions such as anger, worry, and grief- but are the implications of COVID affecting our children’s mental health as well?

These feelings of stress and anxiety are present in both adults and children. However, there are numerous ways to cope and manage these emotions in a healthy way. In this article we hope to share some insightful tips and tricks for allowing kids to relieve stress and decompress through breathing. When kids use these techniques to express anger or anxiety without hurting themselves or others, they are better able to stay focused in class and build good friendships. Breath work is a simple and very powerful tool that can help young children calm themselves when negative feelings arise. It can be quite empowering for a child when they are able to manage their own feelings. 

These breathing techniques can be helpful for adults as well. Remember- whether an adult or child, big, or small, everyone deals with stress throughout their daily lives. 

One of the most commonly known tricks for helping children are simple breathing exercises. One breathing exercise known to be loved by children is blowing bubbles! Although this may seem miniscule, blowing bubbles allows kids to breathe deeply, focus on the present, and lower stress levels. Not to mention- children find this particular activity so much fun!

Another fun but useful breathing technique for children to practice relaxation could be something as simple as going outdoors in the backyard or visiting your local park and smelling flowers. Children are naturally curious so why not use that to your advantage? Have your child pick a flower they like, breathe in deeply, and smell its beautiful scent and aroma. Hold it for one second, then allow a big ol’ long exhale. 

Continuing with the flower theme- another technique you can utilize is called Smell the Rose/Blow Out the Candle. On the inhale, combine the flower breath and on the exhale, blow out the candle. Simply hold up your pointer finger to your nose as “you smell the rose,” and drop your finger to your mouth as you “blow out the candle.”

As you can see, getting kids to do such simple tasks such as breathing exercises does not have to be difficult. Nor do they have to be boring. Give these techniques a try. You will find that your child will raise their emotional and physical state while just simply enjoying life!

Did you find this article helpful? What are some other interesting and fun techniques and exercises you find beneficial when it comes to a child’s mental health and emotional well-being?