This past weekend, I attended the first stop of Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend in Atlanta. The weekend was filled with motivational speakers like Rob Bell and Iynala Vanzant and of course words of wisdom from Ms. Winfrey herself. Toyota, one of the major sponsors of the tour, honored two local women as part of their Standing O-vation Awards. The award recognizes “extraordinary people who are making positive changes in their communities and inspiring others to do the same”
The award was presented by Oprah Winfrey and Team Toyota brand ambassador Amy Purdy (who is absolutely amazing – Find out more about Amy.)
The Atlanta stop honored Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey, the founders of Black Girls RUN!, an Atlanta-based national running group created to combat obesity among women in the African-American community. As the first “Standing O-Vation” recipients, Black Girls RUN! will receive a $25,000 grant from Toyota in support of its continuing efforts to get women running.
Along with a few other members of the media, I was able to go back stage and meet the Standing O-Vation winners along with Amy Purdy.
During the interview, Ashley and Toni were asked what they were going to do with the money. They said the money will be used to reach communities that they typically can’t raise sponsor money to reach as a result of sponsors only wanting to back certain areas and not others. Toni mentioned that one of the most touching moments she’s encountered with her members is when one of her members came to a run right after her daughter died of cancer. The women said that coming to the runs brought her strength and made her feel a sense of community.
We absolutely love anything that has to do with living a healthy lifestyle at EHTV and give a big H/T to Ashley and Toni for taking a stand to make a change for the better in their community and beyond. What began with a blog and two women in Atlanta has grown into a network of more than seventy groups and hundreds of thousands of members across the nation. So sit back and think about this for a moment. Black Girls RUN! Has hundreds of thousands of members. My mind is a little blown here. Imagine the ripple effect of the impact on this program that goes beyond the women in the program. It’s also touching their family members and friends as healthy habits help to improve quality of life.
Hear their story in the video below…
Keep up the great work ladies!