Utah County Health Department
As part of World Asthma Day, Miss Utah USA Kendyl Bell hosted a Blue Balloon Day event to encourage environments where everyone can breathe clean air and have healthy lungs.
Bell, a BYU graduate and the current titleholder representing Utah in the Miss USA pageant, was diagnosed with asthma at age 17. At that time, she began volunteering for the American Lung Association.
In 2007, then-Gov. Jon Huntsman, along with the American Lung Association of Utah, the Utah PTA, and the Salt Lake City Bees declared May 1 as Blue Balloon Day in conjunction with World Asthma Day. The day is meant to educate elementary children about asthma, but also how to keep their lungs healthy through good choices.
As part of the continuing tradition of celebrating Blue Balloon Day, Bell joined representatives from the Utah County Health Department and the American Lung Association at Scera Park Elementary for the event.
"The kids are always so much fun," Bell said. "Together we really can make a difference, and I love seeing their enthusiasm."
According to the Utah Department of Health, 9.1 percent of Utah adults (around 180,000) currently have asthma, and around 6.9 percent of Utah children (around 60,000) also have asthma.
In 2008, Bell was named as an American Lung Association Volunteer Excellence Award recipient for her Blue Balloon Day that reached more than 33,000 students.
The Miss USA competition will take place on June 3.
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