Community Gathers to Support Families for Fitness

By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter

Toledo’s own Families for Fitness held their first fundraiser on Saturday, November 25, 2023 at The Pinnacle located in Maumee, Ohio, where WTOL’s TV on-air anchor TaTiana Cash served as the mistress of ceremonies. Youth across Toledo have benefited from the wholistic wellness programming provided by Families for Fitness, a nonprofit which has served northwest Ohio for years to actively reduce youth obesity.

“Everything here, all the proceeds, all of the donations will support our program that will begin on December 12 at Martin Luther King Academy for Boys,” said Marsha Hall, executive director of Families for Fitness. “We’re so happy with the turn out and support this year and looking forward to next year’s event.”

The event was called “Crowns, Bows and Pearls.” The venue welcomed over 100 supporters who had the opportunity to enjoy conversation with a full course meal, and a chance to support local vendors.

Vendors included: Color Street, Melanated Halo, Nonnie’s 3J Jewelry, and Simply D’Vine Boutique.

The third act of the event was the main attraction featuring a parade of models, of various sizes, who displayed fashions provided by Simply D’Vine Boutique. The boutique is owned by Terrie Cook and located at 3606 W Sylvania Ave, unit 10 in Toledo. The models strutted the run way for over six different themes including: jungle, accessories and faux leather. All items were available for purchase following the show.

“We’re here for a good cause. We’re here to celebrate Families for Fitness,” shared fashion commentator Jacqueline Banks. “You’re in for a show, everything is for sale. Today is small business Saturday, so let’s buy local.”

Everything here, all the donations will support our program that will begin on Dec 12, at MLK Academy for Boys.  -Marsha Hill

Families for Fitness was founded and still under the leadership of Marsha Hill. Their mission is to communicate with great urgency the seriousness of obesity, to engage in obesity prevention and intervention through education in nutrition, exercise, family counseling and intense follow-up. The nonprofit was incorporated by the State of Ohio in 2008 and established as a 501c3 by the IRS in 2011.

Families for Fitness provides in-school and after-school programming. The in-school programming consists of eight topics that include: reading food labels, exercise, nutrition, sleep, school and life stress, using technology and hydration just to name a few. The afterschool program focuses on physical activity, teamwork and the importance of encouraging and supporting others. In 2023, Families for Fitness was awarded a grant from the Greater Toledo Community Foundation’s Equity & Access Initiative which seeks to support minority-led smaller permanent staffed nonprofits in the areas of advocacy, economic development, employment and nonprofit capacity, in order to proactively address barriers that impact communities.

The $15,000 grant will fortify ongoing efforts in three areas: strengthening administrative and development efforts, revitalizing programming and expanding community reach. To contact Families for Fitness, email