Boyertown's ‘Healthy Me' Walk in the Park honors Ralph Johnson

Photo by Hilda Hynes
Photo by Hilda Hynes

The St. John’s Lutheran Church, ‘Healthy Me’ Program continues to draw locals to the Boyertown Park for walking, fun, and fellowship. The June 7 walk held special meaning for many in attendance due to the sad loss of Boyertown local Ralph Johnson who passed away earlier in the month at 100-years-old.

Johnson, a lifelong member of the St. John’s congregation had only a month earlier led the walk himself as the Master of Ceremonies. Recovering from surgery only days before to attend the event, Johnson commented on his health with a smile saying, “No aches or pains, feeling good all the time.”

Dedicating the walk in Johnson’s memory, Johnson was again made the Master of Ceremonies only this time it would not be Johnson himself rather a poster board placed on a wheelchair memorializing one of Boyertown’s longest living residents that would lead the group and be the first to cross the finish line.

Nan Moyer, St. John’s Parish Nurse, welcomed all with a prayer and remembering Johnson’s long and happy life before leading the many locals and Chestnut Knoll residents out to the walking trail.

According to Moyer, the ‘Healthy Me’ Program looks to introduce healthy ideas to people with the hope that they will begin to incorporate those ideas into their own lives.

Out to show that people who face even the greatest of physical adversity can too take part in the healthy activities and ideas the program seeks to encourage was Boyertown Junior High West student Dorian Burnell.

Burnell accompanied the group by traveling the walking path in his racing wheelchair. Burnell, who lives with the effects of Spinal Bifida, relies on the use of a wheel chair to get around; something which has not deterred his own healthy lifestyle.

Burnell and his father Jason train for wheelchair races at the park. Riding on what looks more like a really cool bike than a racing wheelchair, Burnell peddles the black and green speed machine with his hands rather than his feet. He also makes it very clear that nothing should hold you back from a healthy lifestyle saying, “Even being in a wheelchair doesn’t have to keep you from doing things you like and that are good for you.”

The St. John’s Healthy Council encourages everyone to take advantage of the free programs offered such as walks in the park, Tai Chi, and Pre-K Lunch and Play. Find out more about the programs by visiting St. John’s Lutheran Church online at www.stjohnsboyertown.org

Sponsors for future walks in the park, Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis members along with Chestnut Knoll and St. John’s Council will be available to assist you and healthy refreshments are served following each walk. The next walk will be held at 9:30 am on Saturday, July 12, under the Rohrbach Pavilion at the Boyertown Park. If transportation to the park is an issue please call 610-369-1024 to make travel arrangements.