NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Even the "jolly old elf" is thinking about slimming down and eating healthy these days! As part of Santa's annual visit to New Towne Mall in New Philadelphia, Santa himself will lead kids and parents on a 30-minute walk around the mall concourse on Saturday, Dec. 1.

The Walk With Santa event is co-sponsored by the Union Hospital Healthy You Community Walking Program and New Towne Mall. Stephanie Deneher, RN, Walking Program supervisor, said it's another way for families to enjoy the Christmas season and learn more about a healthy lifestyle

"You can have breakfast with Santa, write letters to Santa, and sit on Santa's lap, so why not join Santa for a healthy walk and a healthy snack?" Deneher explained.

The Walk With Santa will begin at 10 a.m. Parents and kids are invited to Santa's Workshop located near the fountain in the center of New Towne Mall. The 30-minute walk around the inside of the mall will conclude in the Food Court where Santa will provide a healthy snack for the walkers.

To ensure enough supplies are on hand, parents are encouraged to register their children in advance at: or call the UH Community Relations office at 330-602-0778.

"During this busy, often stressful holiday season, it is vital to take time out for exercise to get energized and help relieve stress. What better way to do this than to gather your family and enjoy a fun and invigorating walk around the Mall with Santa," Deneher added.