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SOURCE National 4-H Council
Ostaszewski's Wear Your Soul Project joins with National 4-H Council on "Riding it Forward" journey to engage youth across the nation in pledge to live healthy, fight obesity
CHEVY CHASE, Md., July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Joe Ostaszewski, Biggest Loser finalist and former Florida State University defensive lineman, says the Biggest Loser show saved his life. Now, he's "riding it forward" in a 2,900-mile bike ride across the country to inspire others and help save American youth from the dangers of childhood obesity.
Ostaszewski is partnering with National 4-H Council to engage 4-H, the nation's largest youth development organization with programs in every county and parish in the country, in the effort to mobilize and motivate American youth through "Riding it Forward." His ride will begin on July 31 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md. and conclude on September 26 at the Biggest Loser Ranch in Calabasas, Calif., making 42 stops in nine states along the way. Marucci Sports, which strives to provide every child the chance to be a big leaguer in everything they do, is also joining the effort as a national sponsor.
Ostaszewski was a finalist and fan favorite on Season 14 of Biggest Loser, where he lost a staggering 147 lbs. Following the show, Ostaszewski made it his mission to not only live healthier himself, but also to help youth and their families make healthy decisions.
"Obesity is a serious, chronic disease that is threatening the lives of millions of Americans, and I am living proof that there is a cure," said Ostaszewski, Biggest Loser finalist and co-founder, Wear Your Soul Project. "The focus of my Wear Your Soul Project is equipping today's youth to live healthy, active lifestyles, which aligns perfectly with the mission of 4-H to empower young people to tackle urgent issues and Marucci Sports' commitment to engaging youth in physical activity."
"More than 3.2 million youth participate in 4-H Healthy Living programs each year. Not only are they improving their own habits and behaviors, but they are also leading efforts to empower their peers, families and communities." said Jennifer Sirangelo, president & CEO, National 4-H Council. "We are thrilled to include 4-H'ers in this 'Riding it Forward' initiative with Joe to provide more avenues for engaging young people as change agents for healthy living."
Public Invited to "Join Joe"
Along the "Riding it Forward" journey, Ostaszewski will engage with local 4-H healthy living activities including healthy cooking competitions, nutrition quiz bowls, youth yoga and instructional seminars. At each stop, youth will be invited to make a pledge to healthy living and sign their name on the "Riding it Forward" RV that will travel with Joe across the nation.
Youth who can't join one of the tour stops will also be able to pledge to run, walk, bike or exercise a certain number of miles and secure donations for each mile they complete. All proceeds will go to support Wear Your Soul Project and National 4-H Council's mission to empower youth across the nation to live healthier lives. For more information, please visit www.ridingitforward.com.
"Marucci Sports looks forward to supporting all of the Riding it Forward events and being a positive catalyst for change in any way we can," said Kurt Ainsworth, founder and CEO, Marucci Sports. "Life is a journey and it is our responsibility to give kids the tools necessary to succeed on that journey."
About "Riding it Forward"
"Riding it Forward" will kick-off on July 31 at National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md. Ostaszewski will speak to a crowd of more than one hundred youth on the need to eat healthy, exercise regularly and make the right choices. He will be joined on-stage by Biggest Loser Youth Ambassador Noah Gray, a.k.a. Biingo, from Biggest Loser season 14, who, alongside the senior leadership team of National 4-H Council, will send Ostaszewski off on his journey.
National 4-H Council will support marquee events with local 4-H Clubs at the following locations along the tour:
To follow Ostaszewski on his journey, or to learn more about "Riding it Forward," please visit www.ridingitforward.com.
4-H, the nation's largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org.
About Wear Your Soul
Wear Your Soul is a non-profit corporation formed by Joe and Henry Ostaszewski. The identical twin brothers are dedicated to improving the health of our nation's children by tacking obesity, an epidemic plaguing our country. Wear Your Soul Experiences encourage non-competitive sports that help children fighting obesity improve their physical, mental and emotional health. For more information about the organization, visit their website at www.wearyoursoul.org.
About Marucci Sports
Based in Baton Rouge, La., Marucci was founded by two former Major Leaguers and their athletic trainer who began handcrafting bats from their garage. Fast forward 10 years, and that dedication to quality and understanding of players' needs has turned the company into an All-American success story with Marucci being the number one bat in the Big Leagues. Today, Marucci makes wood and aluminum bats, batting gloves, bags, protective gear, and other baseball accessories. Star players like Albert Pujols, Chase Utley, David Ortiz, Jose Bautista, and Andrew McCutchen invest their hard-earned money and time to advise Marucci on product design and test its products.
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