President Clinton talks at local elementary school

POSTED: 02:58 PM PST Jan 16, 2013    UPDATED: 03:00 PM PST Jan 16, 2013 

 As he tours the Coachella Valley spreading word of his health initiatives, President Bill Clinton pointedly knows his goal here.

"We recognize the tremendous resources and challenges you have. We want to help you close the gaps and brighten the future," President Bill Clinton said.

"We're really a pilot project of what the president is working on on wellness in the community. What we're doing here can be a national model," Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet said.

Through the Clinton Foundation's partnership with the Humana Challenge - and all the health activities taking place this week - President Clinton said change is more than possible. He calls for healthy food and exercise across all Coachella Valley schools - and challenges local farmers to contribute excess crops to hidden harvest to feed low income families.
"There aren't many places in the country which are geographically compact enough with their diversities in all these areas, so small enough to make a difference, but big enough to be able to impact what other people think about what they do," President Clinton said.

At the Desert Regional Medical Center's breakfast at Katherine Finchy Elementary School in Palm Springs, President Clinton recognized local leaders and thanked Palm Springs for the $400,000 it contributed to his efforts.

"I really want this to work. I admire you for what you're doing, I admire you for your optimism, I'm excited about your leadership," President Clinton said.

After President Clinton talked the talk, students walked the walk - in their school walk-a-thon. It was a healthy fundraiser alternative to selling candy bars.

It shows kids to put action behind their goals in life - literally and figuratively. The former president said he has a lot of faith the Coachella Valley will succeed in this challenge to get everyone fit.

"If you pull it off, and I think you will, I will do everything I can to make sure everyone in this country knows how you do it," President Clinton said.

A goal is a dream with a vision. With so many eyes on the healthy prize, this is a goal city leaders are determined to achieve.