Lowcountry group aims to treat childhood obesity, helps train families for Cooper River Bridge Run

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A local nonprofit whose mission is to help prevent childhood obesity is getting kids and their families ready for the Cooper River Bridge Run.

The race is April 7, but Louie's Kids mission is year-round.

Wednesday night they took their family race club workout to the Joe Riley Park in Downtown Charleston.

Carroll Venning, her son Jeremiah Venning and her sister Monique Venning joined Louie's Kids earlier this year.

"We had just lost our mom December 11 and I was sort of looking for something for Jeremiah just to get involved with other kids and help him get more active," Venning said.

The nonprofit that was created to empower kids to make changes, both physically and mentally for a healthier and more productive life is now a family effort.

"I would have never in a million years put myself here, I actually do know why my dad was a 500-pound dad," Nonprofit founder Louis Yuhasz said. "When I was 12... playing t-ball and having my dad yell or cheer for me from the car because he was physically too big to come to the field I often would ask myself how did I end up with this dad, what am I supposed to learn from this."

He says now he knows why because it led him to create Louie's Kids, the nonprofit named after his late father.

It's been around for 17 years and for the past three years they've incorporated families and not just the children.

"Diet is a bad word we don't like to use diet, we like to use a term called blueprint for a change" Yuhasz said.

Carrol Venning says she's run the Cooper River Bridge Run before, but it will be her son's first time doing the 10K.

"At first I was nervous to talk to other people...getting used to everyone and knowing they have the common things that they do like me, it's making me happy and happy working out with my family," Jeremiah said.

Louie's Kids meet on Mondays and Tuesdays. 

"I used to be a runner too, my mom passed, gained over 50 lbs and seeing Jeremiah just being present and supporting him and it's also helping me to get in shape," Monique said.

If you'd like to learn more about Louie's Kids, be a part of the group or become a volunteer visit this site. ?

The group has a clinical psychologist who shows parents how to talk with their kids about exercising and eating habits. 

The family participation aspect of it has been a huge success.

"What I've gotten from it is so much more they have the nutrition, they have the behavioral aspect of it, and they have the trainers and just the friendship," Carroll said.

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