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November 20, 2016, Clifton, NJ – On Sunday, November 20th, runners and walkers who completed the 19th Annual 5K Stampede and Health Walk in Clifton, NJ, enjoyed complimentary massages from students at the American Institute. The students were recommended by the city’s mayor to participate in the event, where they had the opportunity to practice their skills and contribute to a good cause.
“We encourage our students to give with no agenda other than to help someone feel better,” said instructor Nancy Hernandez, who supervised the students at the event. “Offering massages to people who have just completed a 5K race for charity allows our students to give back to the community, while developing their skills and promoting the benefits of massage therapy to the public.”
More than 400 runners and walkers took part in the Stampede, which was sponsored by the Clifton Department of Recreation and Clifton RoadRunners Club. The event raised funds for local youth programs and uniforms for Special Olympic Athletes and coaches attending the 2017 New Jersey State Special Olympic Games.
Clifton Mayor, James Anzaldi, a friend and supporter of American Institute, invited the students to put up a booth at the Stampede, alongside other health professionals. Massage therapy students Rishawn Baker, Sandra Lopez, Anadelina Moore, Daisy Martinez, Elizabeth Cabrera and Lucilla Vasquez provided massages, and offered information about the school and the health benefits of massage therapy.
“Having a presence at community events helps build credibility for the American Institute and our students,” said Selene Del Valle, Massage Therapy Program Director. “It also helps us develop a clientele at our clinic, where our students provide low-cost therapeutic massage.”
Participants at the event clearly appreciated the massages, and enjoyed meeting the students. Many said they planned to book appointments for Swedish and Therapeutic sessions at the clinic.
“Our students are always impressive, even when they have never participated in a public event before,” said Ms Hernandez. “Despite the freezing cold, they maintained a positive energy, high spirits and friendly professionalism. I was really proud of them for doing such a good job representing AI and the world of massage therapy.”
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