Louie’s Kids takes a swing at childhood obesity

CHARLESTON, SC – Louie's Kids founder, Louis Yuhasz, announced Friday that the Charleston-based non-profit will host its biggest event yet this fall – The Slim Down the South Celebrity Softball Challenge at The Riverdogs Stadium in Charleston, SC.

On Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011, two teams of local and national celebrities will take the field at Joe Riley Park and play a softball game in an effort to raise awareness about childhood obesity in the South and funding for Louie's Kids programs. Charlestonian and lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, Darius Rucker, has committed to coaching one of the two teams.

"Being from Charleston, this cause is very important to me," said Rucker. "Louie's Kids helps children in this community who are often overlooked and gives them the motivation, knowledge, and support to lose weight and be healthy."

Louie's Kids provides multiple resources for obese children who are in need of assistance, guidance, and education to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The monies raised by Slim Down the South will fund Louie's Kids programs, including Run Buddies and Fit Club, in South Carolina and the surrounding Southern states, which suffer from the highest rates of childhood obesity.

"These kids need mentors. They need role models," said Yuhasz, whose own father died at 65 from complications due to obesity. "What better way to encourage them to be healthy and active than seeing the celebrities and athletes they look up to and admire playing a game of softball and supporting this great cause?" Additional celebrities participating in the event will be announced later this year.

Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley also wants to make healthy lifestyles a focus this year.

"South Carolina has one of the highest rates of obesity in the nation with nearly one in every three adults being obese. We must raise awareness about this epidemic and support Louie's Kids that are working to combat it" said Riley, advocate for Louie's Kids and supporter of Slim Down the South.

The game will be played at Joseph Riley Park, nicknamed "The Joe" and home of the Charleston Riverdogs minor league baseball team.

"We are excited to be a part of such a worthy event" said Dave Echols, general manager of the Charleston Riverdogs. "We care about the children of this community and want to put an end to childhood obesity. There are 5,500 seats in our stadium and we want to see every last one filled on September 18th."

Tickets to the Slim Down the South Celebrity Softball Challenge will go on sale later this year. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011.Visit www.LouiesKids.org for updates and additional details.

To solicit celebrity participation, please contact Ashley Gunin, Director of Development and Event Organizer, at (843) 901-0431 or ashley@louieskids.org.