GirlTrek, the women’s organization of Harlem Hospital that walks for sport and encourage patients and others to live healthier and more fulfilled lives, was rewarded with tickets for the New York Liberty home game at Madison Square against the Washington Mystics, an 88-55 victory for New York. For most of the group, it was the first time that they had ever seen a woman’s basketball game. “It was an amazing experience,” said Keturah Queen, one of the program’s leaders. “We had a great time.”

The tickets were provided with help from YES, Inc., a program headed by Harlem resident Russel Shuler, one of the Liberty’s community partners.

GirlTrek is a national not-for-profit organization that inspires and organizes African-American women and girls whose communities are most at risk from obesity-related illness to work out. Lack of exercise correlates with obesity, diabetes and even some mobility issues that many patients of the hospital deal with. Walking is not only used for exercise, but also used in the rehabilitation process after a medical procedure. Several times a week, depending on their schedules, the GirlTrek group can be seen walking down Malcolm X Boulevard from 135th Street to 125th and back in a competitive mode, while encouraging the members who are struggling to keep up. They note, “No girl is left behind.” The rewards are weight loss, enhanced circulation, stress relief and improved lung capacity. “I’ve lost 8 pounds myself,” said Queen.