Mark Roden founded an organization with the goal of helping kids around the same time Jared Fogle burst onto the scene for Subway. On Wednesday Nov. 9, more than 10 years later, the two will team up to bring awareness to children's health and wellness.
Roden, an Ahwatukee Foothills resident since 1987, owns 46 Subway franchises and in 1999 he founded Subway Kids and Sports of Arizona. The organization hosts a golf tournament every year to raise funds which are then distributed to other local charities that have the intention of helping kids stay active and healthy.
"We look for programs where we can make a difference in getting them off the ground," Roden said. "We have a passion in helping kids and when we see an organization with that same passion, we try to help them as best we can."
Subway Kids and Sports has funded grant proposals for things like sporting equipment, team fees and tickets to take children to professional sporting events. At the foundation's golf tournament last year, they raised over $60,000.
Roden said he pledged $10,000 of the proceeds this year to the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH), which was made the signature program of the Jared Foundation.
Fogle, who rose to national attention in 2000, said he had been looking for an official child wellness to work with that encompassed all aspects of fitness in a school program.
"The results show that this really works for kids," he said. "It has shown to reduce BMI (body mass index) and it gets them more fit. Another important aspect is that in a survey, they found the kids continue to act like they are in the program for the next 3 years."
He described it as a "multifaceted" physical education program that gets kids thinking about their food choices and keeps them active throughout the day. Before he lost 200 pounds, Fogle said he led a sedentary lifestyle and his food choices and lack of activity were ultimately what took his weight to almost 400 pounds.
"It became a vicious cycle because all I was doing was eating a lot of junk food and playing video games," he said. "Unfortunately this generation has more ways to be sedentary. It's a serious problem and because of that I've taken a look at a lot of programs over the years. CATCH had the most bang for the buck, so to speak."
The 12th annual Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona Golf Tournament will take place at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass' course in Chandler on Nov. 9 and 10. To find out more or to register for the tournament, visit the website, www.subwaykidsandsports.com.
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