Famous faces join obesity fight [Healthy Futures]

August 16, 2013

Joey Crabb

Current NHL player Joey Crabb of Anchorage gets his mug splashed on the TV enough that he gets recognized pretty much wherever he goes in town.

The spotlight is cool, but he’s not obsessed with it. That’s why it’s nice for him to come home for the summer, because family and friends treat him like a regular guy.

Sometimes, though, Crabb is willing to lend his star power to a good cause.

Crabb and former Team USA goalie Pamela Dreyer of Eagle River will headline a group of Alaska role model athletes supporting Healthy Futures at the Kid’s 2K, Saturday 10 a.m. on the Delaney Park Strip. More than 1,000 kids are expected.

“I’m going to try to bring my nephews out there,” Crabb told me. “It’s just good to keep kids active. There’s a trend in

America of people getting overweight, so it’s nice to see events like this getting kids active.”

Healthy Futures, the signature program of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, is covering the entry fee costs for children at the event.

Crabb, Dreyer and the others will be on hand to run the crowd through warm-up exercises before the start, hand out Healthy Futures medals at the finish, and host an obstacle course on the park afterward. Any child that drops by and gives the course a try will receive a small prize and a chance to meet a celebrity athlete and collect an autograph.

“Hopefully that helps,” Crabb said of his celebrity status. “Sometimes the kids are so young, they don’t know what’s going on. I’m just some guy. Some of them think it’s great and some of them are just out there to have fun, which is even better. I think we’re going to have a good time with it.”

Other athletes on hand Saturday will include Liam Ortega (Olympic speed-skating hopeful), Hallidie Wilt (former all-region runner at UAA), Greta Anderson (APU skier), Luc Mehl (adventure racer), Billy Crumm (former UAF hockey player) and Galen Johnston (UAA skier).

“Sports figures have tremendous potential for making a positive impact on youth because of the value many kids put on sports and athletes,” said Harlow Robinson, Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Executive Director. “These events are a great opportunity to promote the importance of physical activity. And I’ve discovered over the years that there are so many quality individuals in the sports world in Alaska that are excited about opportunities to give back to the community. It’s a win-win.”