HYHC Leaders carry Torch

Ramona Johnson, HYHC Sun Run InTraining Program Leader, has been selected as an Aboriginal Community Torchbearer for the 2010 Olympics.

Ramona’s contribution to healthier living in her community and her wholehearted and inclusive approach to interactions with all levels of the Comox Valley community made her a fitting candidate.

In 2008, Ramona, Nicole Seeley, and other Comox Band members organized a “Biggest Loser” competition for the Comox people to encourage physical activity. Ramona also organized Belly Dancing and Kickboxing classes in which community members could participate.

In 2008 and 2009 Ramona and Nicole also played a significant role in “Aboriginal Act Now – Honouring Our Health” a province wide initiative, which includes a 13-week training period leading up to participating in the 10km Vancouver Sun Run. Twenty members attended in 2008 and our community participated again in 2009 with 17 preparing and 14 crossing the finish line.

Weekly walks and exercise classes were all part of Ramona’s job as the coordinator for this year’s 2009 Sun Run which took place April 19 in Vancouver. She coordinated fundraising in both 2008 and 2009 with t-shirt
sales, raffles at community meetings and scheduling volunteers.

Ramona has also been actively involved in ensuring that there continues to be a trainer for the community workout group which has now increased from once to twice a week.

On a personal level, Ramona has met an important challenge through exercising and community group walks and, to date, has lost 40lbs. Inspiring others to exercise and lead healthier lifestyles has been Ramona’s goal – to lead by example.

In her work, Ramona is the Manager of the I-Hos Gallery, owned and operated by the Comox Band and one of the busiest First Nations owned galleries in B.C. Living Green is one of the efforts Ramona has put into place at the gallery, making changes such as recycling, implementing energy efficiency policies and supporting the BC Hydro Walk. As she says, “Every little bit counts.”

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