Community health fair has good things in store

April 24th will be a good day to get on your walking or running shoes and take part in the Foundation for Second Chances’ first-ever 5K Walk/Run.  You’ll not only be getting some exercise, but you will be helping FFSC raise money for their programs.

image Foundation for Second Chances is hosting its 4th annual community health fair “A Taste of Health and Fitness” on Saturday, April 24th from 10 am to 4 pm at the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex

Foundation for Second Chances, Inc ( is a community-based organization that sponsors mentoring, hands-on education and community service to maximize the potential of young people in South Los Angeles. 

The 5K Walk/Run is a new feature of FFSC’s annual community health fair.  The 5K will feature an obstacle course designed by celebrity trainer Tarik Tyler.

Some of the other highlights of the fair will be:

•      A FREE Farmers Market
•      FREE Dental, Vision and Health Screening/Testing for children and their families
•      Live Entertainment-dancer, singers, demonstrations and more!
•      Games, activities and workshops for all ages

FFSC needs your help to make this the best and most meaningful fair it has held yet.  Here’s how you can be a part of it:
1.    REGISTER YOURSELF, FAMILY, FRIENDS and COWORKERS for the 5K WALK/RUN. This is one of the most important components of the event, and will help us to continue providing needed resources and programs to the South LA Community.
2.    Invite your company, favorite health food store, or friends in the health industry to purchase a booth through which they can promote their services (a booth is $75).
3.    Invite your company to be an event Sponsor.

Forms for sponsorship, vendor booths and to register for the 5K are available online.

Melissa Wyatt, founder and executive director FFSC, is a committed and tireless worker on behalf of South LA kids and their parents.  While she hopes the community health fair is fun and exciting for all who take part, she is careful to emphasize the real need behind the event:  “to raise public awareness and to encourage marginalized individuals to assume responsibility for their own health and fitness.”

“The Health Fair is in a high-needs area within the County of Los Angeles, where the majority of residents are low income, “working poor” and have minimal resources. Low-income, poor nutrition and a lack of transportation result in a lack of access to information and health services, making it difficult for these families to address their health needs. Our fair takes much needed health services and other programs directly to the people who are most in need, and helps people to help themselves and each other,” Wyatt said.

Visit the Foundation for Second Chances website for more information about the fair and the work of FFSC.

Giving kids a second chance

Have you ever been fortunate enough to get a second chance? That’s the question one speaker put to the audience at the Foundation for Second Chances (FFSC) First Annual Leadership Gala. Those who have had a second chance can well appreciate what the work of the FFSC means to inner-city kids in South Los Angeles who face poverty, violence and poor educational access. The gala Friday, September 25, 2009 at the Proud Bird Restaurant was a celebration of the impact FFSC founder Melissa Wyatt and her dedicated band of volunteers have on children.

The mission of FFSC is to “ utilize hands-on education, mentoring, health, awareness, and community service to maximize the potential of youth.” FFSC carries out this mission with:

1) Community Service Program, including book and food drives, community health fairs and career days;
2) After School Programs, including 42nd Street Elementary;
3) Mentoring Program, which matches caring adults with kids in need of role models.

The master of ceremonies for the event was Grammy winner Mystic, who said “When children have access to mentor, they have a better chance to succeed.” Statistics may bear her out. A recent study by the California Mentoring Federation found that a whopping 98 percent of the youngsters who were matched with mentors stayed in school, did not become a teen parent and avoid participation in gangs. They were also less likely to use drugs.

Keynote speaker Democratic State Senator Curren Price spoke about the need for like-minded organizations to collaborate. In this time of recession and budget cutting, he urged non-profits to “step up to fill the gap.”

Several people were honored on Friday night:
Community Service Award: Leslie Belt-Adway of the Los Angeles Urban League
Inspiration Award: Darneika Watson-Davis, principal of 42nd Elementary
Business Award: Karen A. Clark of US Bank

But the real stars of the evening were Wyatt and her volunteers, many of whom found FFSC through Volunteer Match ( They have worked doggedly If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with FFSC, visit their website: