While 3 boys are bound to keep a family busy, it’s clear that the Gomes Family – a Boston Children’s Hospital patient family – have a great time while running from activity to activity. They also take time to slow down and spend time together. The Boston Children’s team had the pleasure of meeting up with the Gomes Family during one of their afternoon outings to the Mary Hannon Playground and Park, across the street from the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Dorchester. The Gomes live nearby and the park is a frequent destination for family fun and dog walking. The park offers basketball courts, a playground, and a huge open field (and is also slated for renovations in 2014).
The Salvation Army Kroc Center is also a major center of life for the Gomes Family. In addition to Frederick, Sr.’s work at the Kroc Center for the Bridging the Gap program, the family also has a membership and takes advantage of the Center’s great facilities, including summer day camp and the 50-foot climbing wall! (Learn more about the Kroc Center below).
While each family member seems to be self-motivated, it’s clear that they all inspire each other, too, from Mom and Dad on down to the youngest child, Josiah. That day, Mom, Julie, and Dad, Frederick, Sr., had taken 7-year old Josiah to T-ball – his newest sport. Josiah also takes swimming lessons and was offered a position on the swim team. Last year he played Pop Warner football for the Bengals, and worked hard to stay in good shape – at age 6!
Older brother, Isaiah, 11, plays multiple sports at the Derby Academy in Hingham – basketball, rugby, soccer, and baseball! From a very young age Isaiah has been very driven to be fit, and he’s encouraged the rest of the family to stay active.
Frederick, Jr., age 16, blazed the trail for his younger brothers. While he has other interests as well, Frederick played basketball, then started training for the football team at Everett High School. He’s highly focused and even points out when the family’s food choices don’t meet his nutritional expectations!
But Frederick, Sr. and Julie can take a lot of the credit for setting a good example for their children. While keeping active is good for their health, Frederick, Sr. and Julie believe that playing sports is also an important way to build character and learn teamwork. Frederick, Sr. used to work out frequently as well as swim and play basketball, but he had to cut back on his activity following some injuries. He then reached a point where he wasn’t happy with his fitness level, so he got active again in ways that didn’t put him at risk for injury. Dad now feels more fit, and now Mom is finding time in her schedule to get active again – she’s trying out Zumba at the Kroc Center with her stepdaughter, Deaniece. Anyone who’s done Zumba knows that it’s possible to have a lot of fun while also being active!
Kohl’s and Boston Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Family Fun Program wants to thank the entire Gomes Family (including their daughter, Deaniece, who wasn’t able to join us that day) for sharing their story and being an inspiration to other families. They truly have fun together as a family, which shines through in the beautiful photos that kick off this summer’s Kohl’s and Boston Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Family Fun Program!
Kohl’s and Boston Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Family Fun Program promotes fun, low-cost, family-oriented activities and neighborhood resources that make it easier for families to get active and stay active. Be sure to keep a lookout for the Gomes Family in posters at MBTA stops and billboards in locations throughout Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. Boston Children’s Hospital would like to thank Kohl’s for their generous support that funds the campaign as well as the initiative with the Boston Public Schools to bring health, nutrition, and wellness education to Boston families.
More about the Salvation Army Kroc Center:
The Kroc Center offers lots of fun and varied activities for children and adults of all ages, including summer camp, Teen Sports Night, Club 7-11 (a drop-off program for children), middle school and high school basketball leagues, fitness classes, and Boston’s largest indoor water park! Other facilities include:
- Basketball gym
- Fitness center with cardio area, free weights, and circuit training
- Outdoor park
- Outdoor spray ground
- Indoor pool with water slide
- Soccer field
- Dance studio
- Music studio
- Master kitchen