Newsletters 2017-03-14T18:30:17-07:00

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December 2016

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June 2016


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April 2016

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March 2016

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February 2016



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January 2016



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December 2015


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November 2015





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September 2015




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August 2015





To download the August 2015 newsletter click here: Newsletter Aug 2015


July 2015

The LifeStar Challenge is a BIG Winner in Las Vegas
Many people go to Las Vegas  attempting to hit the jackpot and Healthy LifeStars has been very fortunate indeed. We brought The LifeStar Challenge to the Las Vegas Citadel Corps this summer and it’s been a BIG success. Lt. Joy Groenleer shares her thoughts on the program:
“We are excited to be a part of a program that focuses on children’s health and fitness. Growing up in The Salvation Army, I have seen how the corps has always done a great job providing programs to enhance children’s musical, spiritual and social growth. It is wonderful that the Healthy LifeStars program can be introduced and implemented at the corps to focus on the physical needs of our children, as well, as they learn about healthy living, setting health goals, making positive choices and having an active lifestyle.  The Las Vegas Citadel Corps strives to provide programs and services to help develop the whole person, and this Healthy LifeStars Program is one way that we can help our children, their families, and our community, as a whole, to improve their way of living.

Thank you for introducing us to a program that results in happy and healthy hearts!!”
The Center had 86 happy kids participate this summer and is looking forward to continuing the program throughout the school year.

And one of the Corps’ staff personal struggle with weight, lack of self-esteem and controlled substances – and how she successfully emerged victorious – paints a wonderful picture, one that we will share with you next month! So stay tuned!
Rocky Mountain LifeStars

We’d been hearing so many wonderful things about how Elaine Lopez, featured in last month’s newsletter, had been helping the Denver LifeStars that we wanted to see for ourselves! On July 20th, we had the opportunity to check out how these LifeStars get active at the Hiawatha Davis Recreation Center. Lead by Elaine and Ty Crawford, the energetic kids first showed us their warm-up routine before heading up to their indoor track for some very loud and boisterous relay races.. After that it’s in the pool for some more fun! Click HERE to see some of the photos of the kids in action.

Some of these kids also belong to a local Track and Field Club and 10 of them even qualified to compete in Nationals! As soon as we get their results, we’ll make sure to share them with you… Go Denver LifeStars!!!
One unique component of the program is Elaine’s take on nutrition and exposing kids to different and exotic fruits and vegetables that many of them had never heard of nor tried. As the kids try the different fruits and veggies, she asks them to describe what it tastes like. Does it taste like anything else they have eaten before? Do they like it and would they eat it again? Elaine believes “exposing the kids to different foods expands their palate and introduces them to new delicious and healthy food options.”


c6cf93c9-8a38-4af3-98fe-58185987e3fbKeep up the great work Denver! We can’t wait to hear about and see
photos of the trip to Red Rocks to celebrate the end of the program!


One Yuma LifeStar’s Success Story

We all get caught up in our busy lives, but when you hear a story like this, it makes you stop and realize the impact we are having with today’s youth. At The Salvation Army Yuma Corps, one of the coaches, Lt. Tracie Hartt, has jumped head first into living healthy. She has already lost 80 lbs and couldn’t wait to implement The LifeStar Challenge with the kids at her Center. A ten-year old girl entered the summer program in Yuma with very little desire to exercise and didn’t have healthy eating habits. Not only did she absorb the classroom work on nutrition (they showed the kids methods for cooking healthier), she participated in the athletic activities and she is swimming and doing water aerobics at night! She used to only be able to do 4 laps in the pool and now is up to 12 laps and getting stronger. She also calls out her parents when she sees their unhealthy eating!

It’s amazing to watch these kids change not only their habits, but encourage their family and friends to do the same. With more kids becoming LifeStars, hopefully we can overcome this epidemic that has threatened today’s youth.
Do You Use Amazon Smile For All Of Your Online Purchases?

Have you bought all of your kids’ school supplies? With the first day of school just around the corner, order all of you school needs from Amazon Smile and at the same time help Healthy LifeStars at NO COST TO YOU! This ongoing program has all of the same items to purchase as Amazon and allows you to pick a charity that will automatically benefit from your online shopping. Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of your purchase to the organization.

Next time you log in, go to Amazon Smile and select Healthy LifeStars as your charity. You can also click here to be sent directly to the link. And every subsequent online purchase will automatically send you to the same link!

Please note however that this DOES NOT APPLY to mobile purchases.

Thanks for all your support and for remembering us when doing your online shopping!



June 2015

Making An Impact in Denver
Elaine Lopez joined Denver Parks and Rec as the Recreation Instructor just a few months ago, but it hasn’t taken her long to get The LifeStar Challenge in full swing at six different rec centers. She wanted to share a story from Azlan Recreation Center this summer:
The kids at Azlan Recreation Center are great. They all have a great interest in being active and eating right! 

There are a couple of kids that are not as active and are teased at school and the recreation center because they are a little overweight.  I encourage them to overcome these things that could cause them to not want to be active.  Overcoming these obstacles is important. Setting goals to be all that you can be is important and not allowing the opinion and criticism of others or any other obstacles stop you from caring about yourself and doing good things for yourself. These are all messages Healthy LifeStars gives to the kids – And as their coach I encourage them to never give up! 

The LifeStar Challenge has made an impact on the kids eating habits as well! We learn about healthy food choices and why it’s important to have a balanced diet. 

There has been a change! The kids love the healthy snacks I bring them for the – “I Eat Right” part, and the activities that we do for our “I’m Active” part, have been fun and a great way of practicing what we teach!

I’d like to highlight one girl – the only girl– in my Healthy LifeStars group at Azlan. Her name is Doneayja and she has accomplished her goal by sticking to the program in spite of any teasing even if she sometimes can’t do all the things the boys can do.  She stands her ground and does not give up!

She has shown the greatest perseverance and determination and I really admire her! She continues to show up and stand up!  She has also expressed how she is now choosing to eat healthy foods and she wants The LifeStar Challenge to stay at the Center so she can keep participating in it!

Doneayja told me that at school she chooses vegetables and other healthy foods instead of the other stuff she used to eat before participating in Healthy LifeStars!  Her grandma tells her that Doneayja is the only one in her family that eats healthy because she eats bananas. Her grandma just laughs but encourages her to keep it up!

Doneayja is just one example of how the kids are changing their habits and beginning to lead healthier and more active lives. Elaine and Denver Parks and Rec are clearly making an impact with kids all across Denver. If you happen to be in Denver on July 20th, join us as we see them in action at the Hiawatha Rec. Center. Please contact Ben Moke at for more information about the site visit.


Meaningful Numbers 

October 21st… is the date of the celebratory event for our inaugural STEP UP 4 KIDS Challenge. Come meet Tom Lehman and Lin Sue Cooney and help us celebrate. Keep your eyes peeled for more info throughout the summer. If you have any questions,  please email

33.2%… of kids ages 6-19 are considered overweight or obese. Among teens age 12-19, 18.2% are considered obese and 80% of those kids become obese adults. With the help of organizations like Healthy LifeStars and The LifeStar Challenge program, we can fight this epidemic. (Center For Disease Control)

19 Schools… participated in The LifeStar Challenge in 2014-15. These schools range from across Arizona, all the way up to Colorado! And that doesn’t even include the youth-serving organizations such as The Salvation Army, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club and Denver Parks & Rec who also offered the program.

5,113 Kids… participated in The LifeStar Challenge in 2014-15. The program continues to grow and we are always looking for new partners. If you know of an organization or school that would like to participate, please contact Ben Moke at

655 Calories… in a Chipotle steak burrito bowl. The average adult should consume an average of 2,000 calories a day. Unfortunately, most American restaurant meals are packed with processed foods and enough calories to last two or even three meals. Yet eating a healthy meal while at a restaurant is in fact possible – and the NY Times guides our way through menus, pointing out the healthier options. (NY Times)

3 Times… as much weight is gained during summer vacation as compared to the entire school year for American children. At-risk youth and communities are especially in danger of excessive summer-time weight gain. (Active Living Research)
Don’t forget about Amazon Smile!

Looking for that perfect birthday or wedding present? Did you know that you can make all of your Amazon purchases through Amazon Smile? This ongoing program allows you to pick a charity that will automatically benefit from your online shopping. Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of your purchase to the organization, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU! Next time you log in, go to Amazon Smile and select Healthy LifeStars as your charity. You can also click here to be sent directly to the link. And every subsequent online purchase will automatically send you to the same link!
Thanks for all your support and for remembering us when doing your online shopping!
Oops – we goofed!

We hope you’re all as excited as we are about our fall celebratory event with Tom Lehman and Lin Sue Cooney. Unfortunately, we noticed that the email link to the contact info wasn’t live – sorry! We apologize for any frustrations this may have caused and invite you to click on this live link if you would like more information or are interested in getting involved.




July 2013


The LifeStar Challenge

Summer Scholars Become Healthy LifeStars

“The Healthy LifeStars program gives us a structured way to get kids moving and to teach them about overall health and wellness,” explained Karin Hostetter, Director of Enrichment for Summer Scholars in Denver, CO.
Summer Scholars is an award-winning, year-round, extended learning program partnering with 20 Denver elementary schools. Participants, primarily low income, elementary students and their families, receive high-quality reading, language and math tutoring, enrichment and family literacy assistance.

Healthy LifeStars provides an important piece to the program puzzle explained Hostetter. “Because of Healthy LifeStars, the kids get a healthy, physical break so they will be better able to focus on hard tasks.”
During the summer, as part of the program, students participate in arts and crafts, sports, math and special activities like dance, music and swimming lessons. And they run. “The kids love working for those stars,” said Hostetter. “We are helping them learn to set goals with the hope  they can use those skills in other parts of their lives. They learn to think differently and approach challenges in a new way.”
“As an example, Alex ( this month’s Healthy LifeStar) , who has set a goal for running laps, experiences a real sense of pride in that achievement,” explained Hostetter. “Later he can repeat that process in the classroom or in other aspects of his life. He can ask himself, now let me see what I can do with Math, or Reading.”
“As a result, “Hostetter notes, “we are helping kids  create relationships, opportunities and the personal qualities they will need to avoid risks and to thrive.”

Coach of the Month

Visit Stedman Elementary on a summer afternoon and you’re likely to see dozens of kids running, walking or skipping around  a large, grassy area, flanked by a community garden, the school buildings and several “water stations” .

“The kids used to complain about getting hot, but now they look forward to the water games,” explained Michael Bergman, the Healthy LifeStars Coach at this Denver school where the Summer Scholars program is in full swing.  “The adults and the kids really have fun with it.”

As the students circle the field, some chatting and visiting along they way, they stop for cooling buckets of water or a sponge squeeze over the head and collect a popsicle stick for every lap they complete.

“The sticks are meaningful but they really like collecting those stars,” explained Bergman, referring to the colorful stars the students receive as they rack up the miles. “It is a visual recognition of their success.”

Wearing his own collection of stars, Bergman wants to model healthy behavior for the kids. That’s why he joins them in the daily run. “Plus,” he adds, smiling, “I’m a big kid myself so being out there with the students is fun for me.”

As part of the Stedman program,  Bergman discusses healthy eating choices and encourages the kids to share their knowledge with their extended families.

In the year ahead, we want to work even harder on the goal setting aspect of the Healthy LifeStars program, added Bergman.

Michael Bergman, we want to thank you for the hard work you have already put into helping kids become Healthy LifeStars.

Congratulations on being our Coach of the Month!

LifeStar of the Month

Ten-year-old Alex circles the field, running with ease. “I really love to run,” he explains with quiet confidence.

A natural athlete, Alex doesn’t put his running shoes away when he gets home from school and the Healthy LifeStars program. “I keep going,” he says with a little smile. The Stedman fifth grader hopes to play sports in high school and college and this, he says, is part of his motivation to set goals, stay healthy and eat well.

Alex starts the day with cereal and eggs, a hearty breakfast that enables him to stay focused in class and look forward to an afternoon of motion.

Two weeks into the program, he has already racked up 24 miles and expects to hit the 35 mile mark by the end of week three.

After their laps, Alex will join the other Summer Scholars for an afternoon of swimming lessons at a nearby pool, a refreshing opportunity on this warm summer afternoon.

“But,” he offers, “when I get home, I will probably run some more.”

We congratulate you for your commitment to healthy living, Alex.  Cheers for  being named our Healthy LifeStar of the Month.

* * * * * * * * * *

More Photos!

Learn and see more about the Healthy LIfeStars program on our blog.

Help us grow Healthy LIfeStars!
You can donate here.
                      Copyright ©  2013  Healthy LifeStars All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: 1645 E. Missouri Ave. Suite 330, Phoenix, Arizona 85006Visit our web site here.
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June 2013


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Over the years, our newsletters tell our story that has been an amazing journey of growing 12,000 children into LifeStars.

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