Mars Petcare and the Hastings Lake YMCA Partner to Host Innovative Pet-Friendly Family Fall Fitness Fest

Oct 21, 2010, 09:00 ET from Mars Petcare

Event Will Feature Fun Activities That Promote Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

LINDENHURST, Ill., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This Saturday, October 23, Mars Petcare and the Hastings Lake YMCA will host a pet-friendly family fall fitness fest to help educate the community on the health benefits of pet ownership and how families can incorporate pets into a healthy, active lifestyle.  Part of The Power of Pets™ initiative launched last month by Mars Petcare, the event will feature: dog yoga instruction; a dog obstacle course; pet therapy by Adventures With Bailey; a community education discussion; pet health screenings by veterinarians from BANFIELD®, The Pet Hospital; and on-site pet adoption by Young At Heart Pet Rescue.

The event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Hastings Lake YMCA, located at 1995 Grass Lake Road in Lindenhurst.  It is free and open to all members of the community, including pets and their owners.  

"The Power of Pets™ initiative helps put practical knowledge and advice about how to get fit with your pet into the hands of people and families," said Deb Fair, vice president of corporate affairs, Mars Petcare US.  "The program brings to life the meaningful physical, psychological and social benefits of pets in a way that can have a real impact on the health of communities."

Exercise is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle, and research suggests that owning a pet helps increase levels of physical activity. A recent survey of 1,000 U.S. pet owners conducted by Mars Petcare revealed that more than half of pet owners would prefer to exercise with their pet instead of alone.  The survey also revealed that 39 percent of pet owners feel that ensuring their pet is more active has made them more active as well.

"At the Hastings Lake YMCA, we are committed to providing opportunities to help people of all ages develop and grow in spirit, mind and body," said Katie Wall, Hastings Lake YMCA operations director.  "We're very excited to be hosting this event that focuses on how every member of the family can contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle."

The Power of Pets™ Program

As the cornerstone of The Power of PetsTM program, Mars Petcare is collaborating with YMCAs in five cities to bring pet-friendly health and physical activity education and programming to communities.  The collaboration marries Mars Petcare's passion for serving pets and pet owners with the Y's longstanding dedication to the holistic health and wellness of the communities it serves.  In its pilot year, The Power of PetsTM will roll out at YMCA locations in Washington, D.C.; New York; Nashville, Tenn.; Chicago; and Portland, Ore.

More Information

For more information, please visit The Power of PetsTM fan page at  This page will be regularly updated with upcoming event information, tips for exercising with your pet and facts about the benefits of human-animal interaction.  

About Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare is the world's largest petcare manufacturer, with 2009 global sales of approximately $12 billion.  Headquartered in Brussels, Mars Petcare produces brands such as PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR®, ROYAL CANIN®, NUTRO®, GREENIES®, KITEKAT®, CHAPPI®, and CATSAN®. Mars Petcare is also home to Mars Fishcare, Mars Horsecare, Petservices and BANFIELD®, The Pet Hospital.  The WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition provides the science behind our leading petcare brands. Mars Petcare is a segment of Mars, Incorporated, a private, family-owned company employing more than 65,000 associates in 68 countries worldwide. Headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S., Mars, Incorporated is one of the world's largest food companies, generating global sales of more than $28 billion annually.

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About the YMCA of Metro Chicago

The Y is Chicagoland's leading nonprofit strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Through its 65 locations and more than 100 extension sites, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago helps children learn and grow, teaches young people to lead, brings families closer, and encourages individual health and well-being. As one of the largest and oldest/most established cause-driven organizations/nonprofits in Chicago, YMCA programs impact hundreds of thousands of lives annually, helping to strengthen neighborhoods and respond to unique community needs across Chicagoland. The Hastings Lake YMCA is an affiliate of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Mars Petcare