Englewood 5K promotes peace and good health

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -- Englewood is one of Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods.  The residents there have experienced 26 homicides this year.

On Sunday morning, bullets were not the headline.  The community came together for the second annual "Ditch the Weight and the Guns" 5K walk and run.

"To see the residents cheer for us when we run, it's a very uplifting experience," said first time runner Davida Neviles.

Neviles grew up in Englewood, but has since moved to a different part of the city.

"We always bring attention to the negative.  This is one of the positive things that we can bring to the black community, that we need right now," Neviles said.

The event drew close to one thousand runners last year.  This year, the organizer, Andrea NaTay expected three thousand participants.   She is a fitness instructor in Englewood.

"Unfortunately African Americans suffer from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.  The numbers are high and the way we combat that is through physical activity and consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, that's what this is about," said NaTay.

The Englewood community is 98 percent African American.

The proceeds from this year's event are once again benefiting Harper High School.  Last year, new athletic equipment was purchased for the cheerleaders and football team.

"This year our goal is to purchase a juicer, a blender and six months of fresh fruits and vegetables (for the school)," said NaTay.