The RoyOMartin Walkers - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

The RoyOMartin Walkers

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- There's a group here in Cenla that's made up of women of all ages and they all share a common purpose....to promote healthy living while having fun. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton introduces us to one group that's making a difference in the Sonya Quarters Community.

Most of the hallways and rooms of the martin community center are vacant, but there's one room that's anything but quiet.

Meet the toe-tapping, finger-snapping, knee-lifting group of ladies who call themselves the 'RoyOMartin Walkers.'

"We have everybody here from....50's, 60's, 70's, 80's," says instructor Linda McGee.

After funding was cut for a previous community exercise group, these ladies got together to start up a new group on their own- headed up by miss Helen Johnson, known as the "Mayor of the Sonya Quarters...and it's been going strong ever since.

"I go and I go and they tell me I don't see how you go when you're 84 years old....but I go," says Helen Johnson.

They meet twice a week to exercise.

"We wanted to get fit. We wanted to lose weight. We wanted to be healthy. We wanted longevity. And plus social skills," says the group's "motivator" Judy Franklin.

And, to socialize.

"We have a fun group around here. We love one another," says McGee.

The ladies strut their stuff in the name of healthy living.

"We try to promote eating ample fruits and veggies," adds Franklin.

And, in the name of the neighborhood. They hope that more people take notice of their group, and form other groups to meet here in the community center that they say is used only by them.

"We are still trying to keep this place open for the other people. Not to benefit us because my children gone. The other children that's coming on," adds Johnson.

But in the mean time, the RoyOMartin Walkers will keep on marching to the beat. The beat of the drum, and the beat of the ladies who are at the heart of the Sonya Quarters community.

"I guarantee you if you come one time to see what we're doing, I guarantee you, you'll come back again," says Johnson.

The RoyOMartin Company provided the group with T-shirts and hand weights, as well as the building, which they donated to the city a few years back.

If you'd like to join the group just show up Mondays or Wednesdays from 10:15-11:00am at the Martin Community Center.

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