Citizens of Las Animas were out early Saturday morning for the town's 20th Annual Wellness Walk to promote healthy lifestyles and encourage community engagement.

Registration for the wellness walk, tagged #walkwell2019 on social media by participants, opened at 8 a.m. on Saturday. The first 50 registrants received swag bags and t-shirts. Nearly 100 people registered overall. The wellness walk began at 8:30 a.m. at the Las Animas School District Bus Barn.

"It's our 20th year!" event volunteer and resident Dick Porterfield told the Bent County Democrat along his walk.

Bent County Opportunity Center Director Sonora Servaes recognized Porterfield at the event for his continuous involvement in the wellness walk since helping found the event two decades ago.

The wellness walk was designed first and foremost to promote healthy lifestyles. But it has the second utility of being an avenue through which to stimulate community involvement.

Residents and business owners contributed donations to the event and some residents set up booths with health information available, such as one with mosquito facts and repellent tricks. Water and snacks were also ready for the taking by participants looking to hydrate or energize for their two mile walk.

cburney@ljtdmail.com