Fun Run: Baraga-area nurse inspired people to live healthy lifestyle
L’ANSE — For Denise Marth, wellness involved eating well, exercising and having support of family, friends and community, sccording to Gordette Cote Leutz.
“She committed her life to holistic medicine and healing,” said Cote Leutz, who is the executive director of the Baraga County Community Foundation.
The BCCF is sponsoring the Denise Marth Family Fun Run, Walk & Roll. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the L’Anse waterfront along Crebassa Drive and Bayshore Drive, with the event starting at 9 a.m. The entry fee is $5 per person, with children 6 and younger free. Roller skates, skateboards, bicycles and baby strollers are allowed. Helmets are required. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
Participants in the event get donations for taking part. Money raised goes to the operations and programs of the BCCF.
Cote Leutz said Marth was had a master’s degree in nursing. She was involved with health care for 30 years.
She was employed by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Department of Health and Human Services.
The Fun Run has historically been sponsored by the KBIC Tribal Council and many other local community sponsors.
Marth died as a result of a single-vehicle traffic accident on Aug. 2, 2005. Cote Leutz said the memorial fun run and walk has taken place every year since 2006.
Cote Leutz said Marth’s concept of holistic living simply involved eating well, exercising and having the support of family, friends, family and community to achieve good health.
“This is what she was all about,” Cote Leutz said.
Marth wrote many grant proposals for various health-related projects, which is where the community part came in, Cote Leutz said.
“She brought together all kinds of organizations,” she said. “She worked with health foundations.”
In her efforts to develop wellness activities, Cote Leutz said Marth was able to get a wide variety of people to work together to promote healthy living.
“She had an absolute gift for working with people,” she said.
Cote Leutz said Marth helped her lose weight by encouraging her to walk as much as possible.
“It really motivated me back into healthy living,” she said.