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Beach Beacon
Treasure Island woman receives honor from Crist
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TALLAHASSEE – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist recognized Julie Ryczek of Treasure Island March 12 as the week’s Point of Light in honor of Fitness/Nutrition Awareness Month.

The Point of Light program recognizes Florida residents who demonstrate exemplary service to the community. Award recipients are announced weekly. A panel of judges comprised of leaders in the areas of volunteerism and service evaluate all nominations and make recommendations to the governor.

“Julie tirelessly volunteers in her community as a wellness coordinator with Pinellas County Schools, and she works to educate and inspire people to make lifelong healthy choices,” said Crist. “Her efforts promote awareness of fitness and nutrition, and of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.”

Ryczek has served over 25 years in the health and physical education field. Her effort to promote physical fitness and healthy habits among Florida’s youth has earned her a spot on the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness.

For more than 21 years, Ryczek has worked extensively as a volunteer, helping children learn about the dangers of childhood obesity. She has had the opportunity to collaborate with several news stations to discuss the importance of preventing childhood obesity with a panel of fitness and nutrition experts.

In addition to her efforts to combat childhood obesity, she volunteers her time helping organize many local running and triathlon races. She also donates her time to speak at wellness events organized by groups including the Boys and Girls Club, Florida PTA, Rotary Clubs, National Council of Negro Women Inc., KidzBite Back and the YMCA.

Ryczek also serves as a community leader by volunteering with various nonprofit charities that share the mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle among Florida’s youth. She volunteers with organizations such as the Kiwanis Club, Pinellas On the Move, Children’s Dream Fund, Healthy Kids Day, Safe Kids Coalition, and the Susan G. Koman Foundation.

She also writes for five different publications that focus on health, wellness and nutrition.
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