LifeWalk steps off Sunday in Lee Park

Nobles says that park will not be fenced this year but is worried about added cost and barrier affecting next year’s event

KICKING UP THEIR HEELS | The LifeWalk organizing committee gets ready for Sunday.

 

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

New requirements by the city of Dallas could affect proceed totals from this year’s AIDS Arms LifeWalk, and at least one more new requirement is expected to be added to the list next year, according to LifeWalk organizers.

The 21st annual LifeWalk steps off from Lee Park on Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. for the 3.2-mile walk. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Last year’s event raised $401,000 and this year’s goal is $500,000.

Although thousands of people are expected for the event, Lee Park will remain unfenced this year, even though the city has said such gatherings will require fencing in the future.

Officials with the Dallas Tavern Guild, which stages the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and the Festival in Lee Park each year as part of Dallas’ annual LGBT Pride celebration, decided to get ahead of the new requirement by fencing in Lee Park this year for the festival, although the city requirement had not yet gone into effect.

Tavern Guild officials also chose to charge a $5 admission fee to the festival this year to help offset expenses and raise extra funds that will be distributed to parade beneficiaries.

The admission fee raised the ire of some in the community, and attendance at the festival was down compared to last year. But Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman said the drop was not significant, and noted that the admission fee brought in about $25,000 that will be divided among beneficiaries.

But AIDS Arms Executive Director Raeline Nobles said new city requirements have already had an impact on LifeWalk, and she is worried that the new fencing requirements could affect next year’s walk.

“There were a lot more expenses from the city this year,” she said. “It really hits the bottom line.”

The cost of fencing next year will add an additional, unwelcome expense. But Nobles said she isn’t going to worry about that until after this weekend’s event. Right now, her main concern is getting people out to participate in this year’s fundraiser.

“Anyone can participate in LifeWalk,” Nobles said. “You can walk alone or bring friends or join a team. We even have poop-out vans: In case you can’t walk the entire three-mile route, someone will pick you up and bring you back to the park to have a good time.”

She also invited people to just come to the park and cheer.

“We need cheerleaders at the start and finish and at the water stations,” Nobles said. “We have pompoms for anyone who wants to cheer the walkers on.”

Registration for LifeWalk is $40 for people and $10 for dogs participating in LifeBark. People get a T-shirt and dogs get a bandana to show their support for people with HIV.

AIDS Arms is the primary beneficiary of LifeWalk, but other organizations also receive funds from the event, including AIDS Services of Dallas, Legal Hospice of Texas, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus, Bryan’s House, Resource Center Dallas and the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.

Money raised goes toward programming rather than capital costs. The chorale uses funds for their HIV fund, including giving tickets to performances through the year to people with AIDS.

Nobles praised that effort, saying that socializing is an important holistic element in treating HIV.

The Women’s Chorus will present a program at AIDS Arms in March on National HIV Women’s Day. Those expenses, Nobles said, should be covered by the group’s LifeWalk proceeds.

Nobles said it would be tempting for AIDS Arms to use the money to finish paying off the agency’s new Trinity Health and Wellness Center in Oak Cliff. She said that the new facility cost more than $2 million, and AIDS Arms needs to raise just $35,000 more to pay off the facility.

Trinity Health and Wellness Center opened in September and will have its formal grand opening in two weeks.

But despite the temptation, AIDS Arms will instead use proceeds from LifeWalk to support programs for clients at Trinity as well as at AIDS Arms’ older clinic, Peabody Health Center in South Dallas.

AIDS Arms also uses the money to administer HIV tests to more than 3,500 people a year and for case management for more than 3,400 people.

LifeWalk began in 1990 as a fundraiser for Oak Lawn Community Services. When that agency closed, management of the event moved to AIDS Arms.

LifeWalk Co-chair Marvin Green noted that his Green Team will mark its 20th year of participation in LifeWalk. He said he put the team together for the first time in the second year of LifeWalk because he had already lost 20 friends to AIDS.

That first year, three team members raised $75. This year, the 32-member Green Team has collected about $22,000.

Co-chair Fred Harris said that there were quite a few new teams this year.

“We’re reaching out to new communities,” Harris said. “There’s new energy. We’re branching outside Oak Lawn.”

He said teams are using creative new ways to raise money and AIDS Arms has actively brought in new sponsors such as Chipotle.

“Stoli is coming with a first-ever LifeWalk drink,” Nobles said. Returning sponsor Caven Enterprises will serve beer and Ben E. Keith donated iced tea.

Harris said planning has gone well, and that “LifeWalk is a well-oiled machine.”

Harris said he has seen more use of social media this year than ever, reaching out to people outside the Metroplex.

“This year Facebook has become a very powerful tool,” he said, not just for fundraising but also for recruiting walkers.

Last year, about 3,500 people walked, and this year, “Registration is ahead of where we were this time last year,” Harris said.

Waterpalooza, another AIDS Arms event, was moved to Pride weekend this year, just two weeks prior to LifeWalk. Harris said they took advantage of that event to sign up teams and walkers and generate excitement for this weekend’s walk.

Among the new teams, Harris said, are the DFW Sisters.

“Their efforts have been tireless,” he said. “They raise the bar.”

Nobles said that WFAA Channel 8 morning anchor Ron Corning will serve as M.C. in Lee Park. Although he’s appeared at several events since arriving in Dallas, this is the first big public event the openly gay television host has emceed.

LifeWalk received the Human Rights Campaign family-friendly designation, and Nobles said there will be bounce houses, clowns and face-painting for children.

Harris said the event is pet-friendly as well, “because pets are our family.”

There will be games and puppy pools for dogs as well as doggie adoptions, Nobles said.

She said the day would be a lot of fun but asked people to participate because the need is greater than ever.

“With the growth in the number of newly-infected people in Dallas County who need help in this economy, we’re seeing people who never would ask but must,” she said.

Next year, Nobles said, she would like to see LifeWalk return to Oak Lawn, but new city regulations for events may change those plans. Among the events changing plans this year because of the city involved Lone Star Ride.

Last year, Lone Star Riders participated in LifeWalk on bike. This year, city regulations banned bikes from walks so LSR riders who participate will have to walk.

Green was thinking about bigger plans for future LifeWalks. Other cities that raise more money stage longer walks. He said he’d love to use the new Downtown Deck Park that should be completed next year and dreamed of seeing LifeWalkers crossing the new suspension bridge that should be open in March 2012.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

2011 Readers Voice Awards: Health

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BEST GENERAL PRACTITIONER
Jaime Vasquez, D.O.

The Vasquez Clinic
2929 Welborn St.
Open Monday–Friday at 9 a.m.
214-528-1083
VasquezClinic.com

In today’s doc-in-a-box society, a visit to your local sawbones can feel more like a NASCAR pit crew change than a physical checkup to assess your health. That’s not the case with Jaime Vasquez. He’s the kind of doc that remembers your name, not just your chart, and takes the time necessary to really figure out what’s really ailing you. In other words, he gives great bed…side manner. It’s not uncommon to enter Dr. V’s office complaining of a cold and leave feeling like you just finished a cheesecake on the lanai with Blanche, Rose and Dorothy. And if that’s not enough to love, he can also hook you up with the youthful glow of Botox on your way out the door. Forget the politics of HMOs and Obamacare. We vote for HOMOs and no-drama care. Oh, and that cute Jaime Vasquez smile, too.

— Jef Tingley


BEST CHIROPRACTOR
Eric Peay, D.C.

COREhealth Wellness Center
3131 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 820
Open Monday–Friday at 8:30 a.m., Saturday at 10 a.m.
214-219-3300
CoreHealthWellness.com

You avoided sidewalk cracks all your life for fear of breaking your mother’s back. You lifted with your legs. You ate plenty of calcium-rich foods and drank your milk. Yet here you are, filled with aches that simply won’t go away no matter how hard you work through the power of positive thinking. That’s where Eric Peay of COREhealth Wellness Center comes in. His hands of magic make the pain go away, whether in your neck, your lower back or even that cramp in the troublesome middle toe on your left foot. Through traditional chiropractic adjustments, massage and cold laser treatments, Peay and his team are experienced in working with each patient as an individual, so no cookie-cutter treatment plans here. And for everyone looking to get in better shape — and really, who isn’t? — patients can participate in nutritional education classes, small-group training and Peay’s Booty Camp group fitness program. From head to toe, Peay and his COREhealth team provide a one-stop shop for living a better, healthier life.

— Steven Lindsey


BEST OPTOMETRIST
William Henderson

Uptown Vision
2504 Cedar Springs Road
Open Monday–Saturday at 10 a.m.
214-953-3937
UptownVisionDallas.com

What makes a successful optometrist? Certainly Bill Henderson, having been in practice for 19 years, knows something. We could ask his patients, but we decided to ask another doctor. “He’s really one of the best optometrists in town in patient care and diagnostic ability,” says Nick Bellos, M.D. Of course, Bellos isn’t unbiased — for 14 years, the two have been a couple. It’s not just his care in the exam room but in the community that helps Henderson stand out: He’s played with DIVA and has volunteered at Legacy Counseling Center while co-rearing the couple’s two children, daughter Aryn, 14, and son Bryce, 13. “I think he’s a great guy,” says Bellos. Readers definitely agree.

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A FIST TO THE FACE
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972-497-1767
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When Travis Glenn talks, you should listen. The Oak Lawn Boxing Gym owner knows his stuff when it comes to throwing a punch. Taking one? Well, you can do that, too. It’s easy to pass his gym, located on the industrial side of Oak Lawn — there’s no big signage. Inside, the place is a pristine modern gym with a boxing ring, punching bags and all the equipment you’d ever need to kick, duck and bob. Glenn, pictured, holds instruction for boxing, grappling and martial arts alongside the discipline for using them the right way and not as tools of aggression. But we know you’ll think it’s cool to be a downright badass if need be. Right?

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BEST DERMATOLOGIST  • TIE
Jeri Beth ‘J.B.’ Foshee, M.D.

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Presbyterian Professional Bldg. III
8230 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 500
Open Monday­–Friday
by appointment only
214-739-5821
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2501 Oak Lawn Ave., Suite 450
Open Monday­–Friday
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BEST HIV SPECIALIST
Gene Voskuhl, M.D.

Uptown Physicians Group
2929 Carlisle St., Suite 260
Open Monday–Friday
214-303-1033
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BEST DENTIST
Clint Herzog, D.D.S.

Herzog Dentistry/Floss
2828 Routh St., Suite 310
Open Monday-Thursday
214-969-1000
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Chad Collom, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Solace Counseling
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214-522-4640
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Flower Road Natural Therapies
4123 Cedar Springs Road,
Suite 1428
Monday–Friday by appointment
214-987-2766
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BEST PERSONAL TRAINER
Billy Young, C.P.T.

COREhealth Wellness Center
3131 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 820
Monday–Saturday by appointment
214-219-3300
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L.A. Fitness

4540 W. Mockingbird Lane
(and additional locations)
Open daily
214-453-4899
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Sunstone Yoga

2907 Routh St.
(and additional locations)
Open daily
214-219-3300
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Uptown Yoga

2636 Thomas Ave.
(and additional location)
Open daily
214-965-9642
UptownYoga.com


BEST PHARMACY
Walgreens

3802 Cedar Springs Road
(and additional locations)
Open daily
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Walgreens.com

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 18, 2011.

—  John Wright

Body & Fitness: Back for GOOD

“If you were told you were getting a car and you’d never be allowed to get another one, you’d take very good care of it,” Dr. Peay says. “Your body is your car and you aren’t getting a new one! Take care of what you’ve got now.” (Photo by Arnold Wayne Jones)

With an ounce of prevention, you can be chiropractically perfect in every way

STEVEN LINDSEY
Contributing Writer

No longer do you have to get hit by a bus to benefit from chiropractic care. In fact, one local doctor is ready to dispel myths about his profession once and for all. And we might all feel healthier as a result.

Dr. Eric Peay, owner of COREhealth Wellness Center, is as passionate about his practice as he is his patients. But he understands that there are a lot of misconceptions about chiropractic care. Some people associate the field simply with car accidents or on-the-job injuries. Many fear that having their spine adjusted will hurt. And still others are skeptical about professional care that doesn’t involve prescription medications.

“People consider dental health important and see a DDS every six months for teeth cleanings. The dental profession has done an excellent job of educating the public on the dangers of decay and that it leads to other health issues not just inside the mouth,” Peay says. “It’s the same thing with spinal health. If pressure is on a spinal nerve, the nervous system is disrupted. Because it controls everything in your body, you want it working as efficiently as possible.”

Therefore, anyone can benefit from the treatment of a chiropractor, even if they aren’t feeling any pain in particular. Simply the act of living can cause one hip to be higher than the other, or the neck to not have as wide a range of motion as it should. Chiropractors are also a good source for creating an overall healthy lifestyle plan through wellness initiatives of all types.

“We like to educate our patients on the reasons why it’s so important to eat healthy, exercise, get proper sleep and stay in proper alignment. It’s no coincidence that regular chiropractic patients are generally healthier and in better shape than most,” he says. “I always explain to patients that dieting is never a good thing. However, making lifestyle choices on a daily basis is what creates long lasting habits, which will lead you to better health and keep you there.”

And that means eating healthier on an ongoing basis, not just for rapid weight loss to get into that swimsuit or pair of jeans from high school and then heading back for 50 McNuggets after the goal has been achieved.

One of the biggest myths about chiropractic care is that it’s going to hurt. Peay is often asked if he’s afraid he’s going to break someone’s neck. The answer, of course, is no. And a single spinal adjustment isn’t going to immediately alleviate all pain if a person’s back is in really bad shape.

“Another thing some people don’t understand is how long it will take to resolve their particular problem. Everyone’s body is different. If you hired a personal trainer, you may start seeing results after ten sessions while your friend may have not seen results until after 20 sessions,” he says. “I always treat each person individually. I work with them on whatever their goals are. Sometimes it’s just relief care. Other times it’s corrective or maintenance care. That’s something the patient and I talk about from the beginning. That kind of relationship makes my patients always feel comfortable and that’s something very important to me.”

Interior designer Jason Jones is a firm believer in regular treatment.

“I have been going for about four years. I cannot imagine my life without my adjustment appointments. I breathe better, sleep better, never have headaches and have even discontinued use of three prescription medications,” Jones says. “I generally try to get at least one or two adjustments per month.”

Peay also dispels the belief that an injury means all physical activity has to come to a complete halt. It’s often one of the first things people stop doing when they feel back pain, and that can make things worse.

“Lack of movement will eventually result in weight gain, sleep disorders and even more fatigue. A vicious cycle ensues. Most importantly, if your spine is out of alignment, your nervous system cannot function at its highest level. When this happens, the immune systems suffers, resulting in colds, flus and all the other nasty crud going around,” he says.

Even if you never see a chiropractor, there are ways you can keep your spine in as good a shape as possible.

“Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Add in plenty fruits, vegetables, grass-fed lean meats, nuts. Alcohol, dairy, gluten (found in wheat and most other grains), and caffeine are all pro-inflammatory,” says Michele Schamburek, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant at COREhealth. “Regular exercise and soft tissue massage are also key elements.”

Other ways to keep that back in tip-top condition are probably things your mom always nagged you about.

“Lift with your legs,” Peay says. “Think about your gluteal muscles. Flex them when you lift something to avoid putting so much pressure on your lower back. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, you’re not using your glutes much, so squeeze them with every step you take. Use your glutes every chance you get.”

Most of all just treat your body right.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 18, 2011.

—  John Wright