The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is celebrating the grand opening of a new wellness center on Wednesday.
The center is located at 5305 W. Calle Torim, near Camino de Oeste, south of Valencia Road.
The new facility is one aspect of the tribe’s effort to increase physical activity in order to prevent diabetes. It includes a fitness room, new exercise equipment, a basketball/multi-use gymnasium and a junior Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The building was paid for with a $2.2 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a $1.5 million contribution from the tribal council.
About 16 percent of tribal members have diabetes, compared to 5-7 percent of the population nationwide, according information submitted for the HUD grant. In 1998, there were no Pascua Yaqui children with diabetes. Now, about 30 children have diabetes.
The tribe will be giving out prizes to the person who has logged the most steps on a pedometer since the ground breaking in February 2007, as well as the person who lost the highest percentage of body fat between the ground breaking and grand opening.
The grand opening will take place from noon to 4 p.m. with a blessing scheduled for 12:15 p.m.