About 100 Native runners participating in the annual PF Chang’s races showed up at UNITY’s headquarters for its annual Spaghetti Dinner for Native runners. This year’s dinner included members of the Facebook group Healthy Active Natives (HANs), with group founder Waylon Pahona as the special guest.
Pahona, who is Hopi and whose mother is from the Gila River Indian Community, shared his story of hope and inspiration. Pahona, like many others, has struggled with his weight. HANs now boosts 50,000 Facebook members and as a community focuses on health and healing.
Attendants also included UNITY youth from Cesar Chavez High School; the White Mountain Apache Youth Council, which included Miss Indian Arizona, Shasta Dazen; the Mesa Strength Youth Council; and the Yavapai Apache Youth Council. The youth councils served as volunteers at the event.
Hopi Chairman Herman G. Honanie also shared encouraging words. All runners were given an opportunity to introduce themselves. Prizes handed out that evening included trophies for Oldest Male & Female Runners, Youngest Male & Female Runners, Most Marathons, Most Half - Marathons and Longest Distance Traveled. The night ended with some door prizes and a group photo.
This year UNITY became an official charity of the PF Chang’s Marathon & Half Marathon. All runners are invited to join TEAM UNITY in next year’s Marathon and Half Marathon to help raise funds for UNITY youth leadership programs and scholarships. Please feel free to contact Kayla Davis at the UNITY office for more information.
We look forward to more runners and supporters joining us at next year’s tenth Annual Spaghetti Dinner for Native Runners.