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Pennsylvania Conference’s Community Event Kicks Butts

Story by Alysha Hollingshead
Published 5/9/12

Captain Kick Butts also known as Rico Gordon, a BMA student and his sidekick, Lungs Woman, better known as Maile Hoffman, also a BMA student, greeted community members on “Kick Butts Day.”

Captain Kick Butts and his sidekick, Lungs Woman, recently greeted more than 60 community members at Reading Junior Academy’s (RJA) “Kick Butts Day” in Reading, Pa. The event is an international endeavor to inspire youth to speak out against the fatal effects of tobacco use. Pennsylvania Conference’s Adventist WholeHealth Network, RJA and the Kenhorst Boulevard church sponsored this event.

A team of 10 students and two staff members from Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) in Hamburg helped plan and run the event. These students organized six different booths that featured fun and informative information on living smoke-free. These included: “101 Things to do Besides Smoking”, “Lungs Exposed”—a multi-media booth that explored the impact of tobacco on the body, “They Put What in a Cigarette?” showcasing some of the 4,000 different chemicals found in cigarettes, “Cold Turkey Trade” where participants could trade in cigarettes for coupons for a free Subway sandwich, and “Public Policy” where individuals could sign a petition that BMA students wrote, which calls for increased monetary support for tobacco cessation and prevention programs from the Pennsylvania state legislature.

Guests were given the opportunity to win a $25 gift card by guessing the number of cigarette butts in a jar. The team collected 832 butts from the community playground and 206 butts from an ashtray at a retail store.

Two local hospitals also participated in the event. St. Joseph’s Hospital conducted a lung-screening test. The Reading Hospital distributed materials relating to nutrition and a healthy diet. Representatives from the Council on Chemical Abuse and Latinos for Healthy Communities also offered educational materials and freebies.

BMA’s Ariel Aires provided two performances. One performance illustrated the contrast between a body impacted by tobacco use and one that was tobacco free. They also taught children simple acrobatic moves, enjoyed a potato sack race together with kids breathing through straws to illustrate the difficulty of impaired lung function, and offering egg and spoon races where children wore vests weighing one through 10 pounds to show what it would be like to gain extra weight. Kids had so much fun that they stayed the entire three hours—even after their parents walked home.

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