Free walking program open to the public

DEARBORN – Children and their families can stay active rain or shine this summer during the third annual Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Kids ’N Kicks Summer Walking Program at Fairlane Town Center.

The program is open to area families, is free and runs through Aug. 19. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The center is at 18900 Michigan Ave.

Participants can register at the Customer Service desk, where they will receive a start-up membership kit to keep track of how far they walk during the summer. The membership kit includes a walking logbook, Fairlane Town Center map, walking route calculations, and a neck tote and pencil that participants are encouraged to bring with them each time they visit.

At the end of each visit, participants record the distance walked in their logbooks and take it to the Customer Service desk for a completion stamp. Participants will receive a treat each visit and a milestone prize for every five visits.

More than 100 children and their families tracked their summer walking at Fairlane Town Center in the program’s first year. That total climbed in 2010 to more than 250 families.

Last summer, Brandon Miller, 11, of Detroit, was the top walker for the program covering more than 250 miles during his 137 visits. This was the equivalent of 10 marathons, or the distance from Dearborn to Cincinnati. The combined total of all 2010 participants came to nearly 2,000 miles, or the distance from Dearborn to Phoenix.

“We’re excited to have the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Kids ’N Kicks Summer Walking Program at Fairlane Town Center return for another year,” Fairlane Town Center General Manager Catherine O’Malley said. “With a strong turnout during its first year, and more than 250 children and their families participating last year, the program continues to grow in popularity throughout our community. Every child who takes part in Kids ’N Kicks will get to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and have some fun while they’re at it.”