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Seminoles move it, move it at Firecracker Walks

firecracker05Between June 27 and July 3, Tribal members celebrated the Fourth of July with fun and fitness at the eighth annual Firecracker Walk.

About 100 people participated in several different walks, held in Hollywood, Big Cypress, Naples, Immokalee and Brighton. In Hollywood, about 30 people walked around the horseshoe on the Stirling Road property north of Tribal Headquarters on July 3.

“This is just a fun walk to get people to do some walking and make healthier choices,” said Brenda Bordogna, Health education coordinator. “We have some really committed walkers.”

Walkers of all ages showed their Fourth of July spirit with hats, beads and flags. Enthusiastic preschoolers and their teachers joined seniors, teenagers and adults for the non-competitive event. The route was less than half a mile, but when some people reached the finish line, they turned around and walked it again.

“I’m out here for the exercise,” said Trevor Osceola, 17, who walked with his sister Clarice Demayo, 9, and their dog, Sparkle, who was pushed along in a stroller. “It’s a good way to stay in shape.”

The Health Department supplied plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated in the 85 degree heat. Healthy snacks including apples, peanut butter, pretzels and cheese were a welcome treat after the walk.

Senior Mary Gay Osceola usually walks on the treadmill and works out on the stationary bike at the Senior Center but she was excited for a change outdoors. The group was led by two mother/daughter teams; Wanda Bowers and Christine McCall, and Gwen Spiva and Maleah Isaac.

Gym bags were raffled off after the walk and all winners were glad to have them. Every participant was given a sweet and juicy watermelon to take home.

“The goal of this and every walk is to make health a focal point of all our holidays and celebrations, as well as our everyday lives,” Bordogna said.


Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at