Exercise instructor Marilyn Perks works with a group of students at the KP Community Services and Senior Center. Perks is lending her talents and joining forces with organizers at Key Pen Parks for a “Play Day” –– a day of exercise and fun at Volunteer Park. Photo by Ed Johnson, KP News

Exercise is an important component of a healthy, independent life. And having fun while you’re exercising makes it so much easier to stick to a regular schedule.

Key Peninsula Parks and KP Community Services and Senior Center are hosting a community Play Day Sept. 23 at Volunteer Park.

“This is our second year having this event,” said Jessica Smeall, recreation coordinator with the park district.

“The whole community is invited to come to the park and play together. It’s for everybody from kids in strollers up to seniors. We want to inspire people to play and be active and be healthy as long as possible,” Smeall said.

Play Day activities will include walking on the paved 400-meter track, playing on the playground and participating in balance games.

“A lot of people don’t know about the track at Volunteer Park,” Smeall said. “It’s good for wheelchairs and strollers and just for walking.”

For Marilyn Perks, who leads an exercise class three times a week at the senior center, Play Day will be a good opportunity to bring the community together.

Perks has been teaching classes at the center for more than five years. Her classes are based on the S.A.I.L. (Staying Active and Independent for Life) program,” she said.

“In our classes, we do 20 minutes of warm-up and aerobics, then 10 minutes of balance activities for fall prevention, then 20 minutes of upper and lower body weights and finally 10 minutes of relaxation, she said.

Perks also is a member of the Peninsula Fall Prevention Coalition, a partnership between St. Anthony Hospital, Key Peninsula Fire Department and several other organizations.

“Last year we had just our S.A.I.L. class in the park and now we’ve decided to appeal to all ages, because anybody can fall. It doesn’t necessarily go with getting old,” Perks said.

Smeall said Play Day will be another great family event as well as unique opportunity to get other people and groups coming together for healthy reasons. “We encourage people of all ages to come out and join our multigenerational day of fun,” she said.

Both Perks and Smeall hope that Play Day will become an annual event.

For information, call Smeall at (253) 854-9240, extension 22.


Key Pen Parks and KPCS will host a community-wide Play Day on Monday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon, at Volunteer Park. The park is located at 5514 KPN, Lakebay. The event is free and all ages are encouraged to attend.