Grandfather inspires healthy lifestyle for Utah DJ

Updated:Apr 20,2015

Jon Salt LakeJon Watkins’ dedication to the American Heart Association is inspired by his grandfather -- who always supported his dream of being an entertainer. As part of the morning DJ team at 101.5FM (The Eagle) in Salt Lake City, Jon has been an avid supporter and participant in our Utah division activities for many years – most recently on National Walking Day. The Eagle provided music and sound for 250 participants at the National Walking Day celebration at Utah’s City Creek Center on April 1. Jon says, “It’s so close to me, I’m happy to help.” As a part of the station’s team of morning DJs, he raises awareness about heart health during his show and ensures that the station participates in all of our local signature events. It’s all part of Jon’s determination to give back the same support his grandfather had given him.

“My grandfather pretty much raised me and took me to auditions.” Jon says. He suffered three heart attacks in 10 years and when the idea of healthy lifestyle changes were discussed Jon says he always countered with, “I’m too old to change." A fourth heart attack took his life at the age of 77.  Jon decided to do things differently than his grandfather when he recently found out that he has pre-hypertension. “I am trying to follow a low sodium diet so that I can be around for my kids.”

LA NWD mascotsVolunteers like Jon assured that National Walking Day made a big impact across the Western States Affiliate (WSA). In Washington, Paula Battle won the Puget Sound’s week long pedometer challenge beating out other local celebrities with a whopping 98,076 steps! Tacoma’s latest Downtown On the Go walk series kicked off on National Walking Day. More than 300 people showed up to take the walk at Wright Park. Employees at Providence Oregon in Portland made a video to inspire participation in their National Walking Day activities. In downtown Los Angeles at Union Bank Plaza, popular local mascots from the LA Galaxy major league soccer team and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt joined our own Ticker for exercise, games and media interviews. Western Health Advantage hosted walking groups every hour at their campus in Sacramento, CA. Over 50 early risers participated the first two walks!

Thanks to the thousands of volunteers who take the My Heart. My Life. movement to heart across WSA – on National Walking Day and throughout the year!