2003 Stevensville High School graduate Russell Cleveland has big plans for his upcoming summer. In an effort to raise awareness about the growing nationwide problems regarding childhood obesity, Russell has taken on the challenge of biking coast to coast in an effort to raise community awareness and charity money for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a non-profit organization actively pursuing the prevention of childhood obesity. The nearly 3500-mile trip begins June 1 on the Pacific Coast in Ocean Shores, Washington, and is scheduled to conclude seven weeks later on the Atlantic Coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Russell was raised in Stevensville, where he led an active lifestyle staying involved with his community and school with various athletic and leadership programs. However, it wasn’t until he left the athletic community, after stepping away from a football scholarship at Montana Tech to join the US Navy, that he discovered just how important exercise and nutrition was in his everyday life. After suffering through multiple back injuries from a Jeep rollover accident in Norfolk, Virginia while serving on active duty, Russell rededicated his life to health and fitness and showing others the incredible benefits derived from staying fit and active. Russell relocated to Fernley, Nevada after being honorably discharged in 2009, and since has spent his time getting others in shape as a Master Fitness Trainer at Anytime Fitness, while simultaneously finishing his Bachelors degree in Nutrition at the University of Nevada-Reno. In February, Russell was accepted into Seattle University’s Master in Sports Administration and Leadership graduate program, and decided that this summer was the opportune time to follow his dream of cycling from coast to coast.
It was then that he decided to do the trip for charity, creating Pedal4Prevention, the fundraiser aimed at raising money for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation, the Alliance aims to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, encouraging children to make healthy lifestyle choices through programs setup in schools, doctors offices, communities and at home. 75% of all donations made to Pedal4Prevention are in turn given directly to the Alliance. The other 25% will help Russell make it from coast to coast, as he delivers his message about how to prevent childhood obesity to communities all across Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, and Massachusetts. Russell is asking for your help, so to learn how to donate, or for exact tour dates and updated trip information, log on to Pedal4Preventions Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Pedal4Prevention.