HSOC 2013: The Ressurection

On March 30, 2013 Greater Hartford, CT witnessed “The Resurrection” of the 6th Annual Step Into Wellness & Health Expo: Hartford Step-Off Classic (HSOC). After a two year hiatus, for its sixth year, more than 2000 patrons attended the Bushnell Performing Arts Center to witness and participate in this family friendly community event, which focuses on fighting obesity and living a healthy lifestyle. The day combined rhythms and syncopated movement with a multitude of health and wellness providers, insurers, educators and community outreach services. College sorority and fraternity teams among the Divine Nine came from New York up to Massachusetts to compete for prize money and 1st place trophies. The audience was also treated to exhibition performances by local area middle school, high school and collegiate step teams. Opening the show this year was The Art of the Drill from Hartford, CT which captivated the audience with their rhythms and powerful sound setting the tone for this…”Resurrection.”

The BSL Educational Foundation, Inc. and BSL Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. (Hartford, CT) sponsored the event along with the funding of its lead contributor for six years, The Connecticut Health Foundation. The CT Health Foundation, along with CIGNA, has been the lead sponsor since it’s the HSOC’s inception in 2006. That first event drew 1,500 patrons to the University of Hartford Sport Complex and for four straight years (from 2007-2010), the event has been sold out (3000 patrons) while being held at The Bushnell (www.bushnell.org). This year’s “Resurrection” of the HSOC was welcomed back, not only by The Bushnell, but also by several returning sponsors: Michael Janet Suisman CAF, Aetna, UCONN Health Center, CBS Broadcasting Station HOT 93.7 FM Radio, Community Health Services, Inc., and Target; we were additionally blessed with new sponsors, the CT Air National Guard and Hobson Associates. The “icing on the cake” for this year was the sponsorship of Connecticut School of Broadcasting, whose employees videotaped the whole event.

These sponsorships defrayed some of the cost of the event while ticket sales generated more than $12,000 to grow the endowment of the BSL Educational Foundation Inc. The Foundation annually awards more than $15,000 in scholarships to: graduating seniors, high school students to attend the Fraternity’s Eastern Region Leadership Development Institute, participants of the Bro. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest, and targets middle and high school students with its Project Alpha event.

Through the Health Expo, we look to inspire our guests to lead healthier lives through education, healthy eating, regular exercise and routine examinations. We gave guests an opportunity to visit twenty-five different health organizations and learn or experience ways in which they could personally improve their own health.

Guests were able to get tips on how to live a healthier life from CIGNA, have mammography exams and cancer/blood screening through the Hartford Hospital working in conjunction with the Omega Foundation of Hartford, learn about sexual healthy well-being from CT Planned Parenthood, and kid safety from Safe Kids Connecticut, as well as many others – including the March of Dimes and Hispanic Health Council.

Drs. Lenora Williams, MD, Anjanette Ferris, MD, Liz Evans, MD, and Natalie Achong, MD addressed the crowd from the Bushnell stage about healthy lifestyles and how improper dieting and obesity can result in diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, blindness and other ailments.

The winner for the top Fraternity team was the Alpha Phi Alpha team (CT). The Brothers of Phi Beta Sigma (PA) came in second. The winner for the top Sorority team was Delta Sigma Theta (NY), besting the ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho (CT). The community teams featured the Art of Stepping (NY), New Generation Steppers (Two Rivers Magnet Middle School, Hartford), the Art of the Drill (Jumoke Academy, Hartford), the Gifted Onez & Talented Teens (Hartford), and the New Sound Drill Team & Drum Squad (CT).

The event was co-chaired by Bros. Elijah A. Oliver, Kareem K. Nulan, Shontae K. White and Steven King, Jr., President & District Director for ONECA. The core members assisting were Raymond Oliver, Lee Brown, and Norman Graham.

The HSOC committee is truly appreciative of the efforts of the Bushnell Performing Arts Center and Ms. Sarah Cronin, Programs Coordinator at the Bushnell who helped to make the event a success for the theatre and the community. On-air promotional efforts by Hot 93.7 in CT and 90.7 in MA and commercials via Comcast Cable in Hartford and Springfield helped to increase the awareness of the event.