TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) A former Kansas City Chiefs player was in Topeka on Saturday to promote health and wellness at the first ever Will to Succeed Health Fair.
Will Shields was an All-Pro right guard for the Kansas City Chiefs for 14 seasons, until he retired in 2007.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015, and now uses his platform to impact communities through the Will to Succeed Foundation.
Shields said, "What we're trying to figure out is how we can create a health initiative to help everyone get healthier, wealthier, and wiser. When you're feeling fit and in shape, you also build your self esteem up. You actually feel more strong and empowered."
The first stop on the path to change the outlook on health in Kansas communities, was Topeka.
To help put on the health fair, the Will to Succeed Foundation partnered with Aetna.
Aetna is a health care company that sells traditional and consumer directed health care insurance and related services.
Chris Beurman is the Community Development Manager at Aetna in Kansas City, and was excited to get to work with Shields on this new initiative.
He said, "We try to do all kinds of community events and be at community events around the state, in order to help educate individuals on their benefits that they have, as well as healthy activities that they can participate in."
Local businesses and organizations were also there to answer any questions, and educate people on good practices in nutrition, fitness, dental and vision.
Shields said, "We're trying to give people an opportunity to find new resources in their own community that can help them grow and better themselves."
Special Olympics Kansas was another main focus of the event.
Beurman said, "We are encouraging folks with disabilities to come out and learn about some of the ways they can exercise and get social activities done."
Shields said when he worked with the Chiefs, they did a lot of events with the Special Olympics to help them grow their brand.
He added, "I think everyone's a competitor. Everybody wants to be part of a team or group, and that to me is very important regardless of what aspect of life you're in."
The next health fair will be in Kansas City on October 19th.
The Will to Succeed Foundation Will to Succeed Foundation seeks to guide, inspire, empower and improve the lives of those less fortunate
by providing financial, educational and other everyday resources.
If you'd like to donate to their cause, or learn more information about the foundation visit their website.