posted on Thursday, May 3, 2018
DES MOINES, Iowa (May 3, 2018) — The Healthiest State Initiative (HSI) and officials from Grand Blue Mile announced their 2018 Set the Pace challenge $10,000 award winner: Lohrville. The annual challenge encourages Iowans to develop sustainable, healthy habits, highlighted by participation in the Grand Blue Mile.
The $10,000 award will be used on a project that promotes safe and accessible places in which to be active, such as a park, playground, or trail. Lohrville had the highest percentage of its residents participating in Grand Blue Mile — measured by the number of registrants for a given ZIP code against the community’s total population.
“I am excited that our small community was able to set the pace with such a great response - this award gives a great opportunity to support our active population!” said Lohrville Mayor, Donny Hobbs. “Once the word spread that we had a chance to win the $10,000, the excitement grew. Thank you to Wellmark and Healthiest State Initiative for this award.”
In all, 35 communities — a 10 percent increase from 2017 — and thousands of individual participants accepted this year’s challenge. Event sponsor Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® finds that statistic especially heartening. “Grand Blue Mile continues to meet every participant exactly where they are in their individual wellness journey,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark’s senior brand marketing manager and Grand Blue Mile official. “The record engagement we witnessed for the 2018 Set the Pace challenge provides the perfect platform to further strengthen our collective efforts to ensure a future of better health for all Iowans.”
“We’re excited to work with Lohrville as they identify a project to support physical activity in their community,” said Jami Haberl, HSI Executive Director. “We encourage all Iowans to follow Lohrville’s path to invest in the health of their community. That includes doing their part to make “5-2-1-0” healthy choices: 5 of more fruits and vegetables a day, 2 hours or less screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity and 0 sugary drinks – drink more water.”
About the Grand Blue Mile
The Grand Blue Mile is an annual one-mile fitness run/walk sponsored by Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®, in partnership with the Drake Relays, to engage individuals at all stages of fitness, encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. The annual wellness event includes recreational, competitive and invitational events featuring a field of elite male and female track and field athletes from around the world. Proceeds from the event benefit Iowa Kidstrong, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting healthy, active lifestyles among youth. For more information about the Grand Blue Mile, visit www.grandbluemile.com.
About the Healthiest State Initiative
The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. By engaging worksites, communities, schools, retail food, organizations, institutions and individuals, we can inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness, and ultimately achieve our goal. For more information, visit http://www.iowahealthieststate.com
Wellmark, Inc. (Wellmark.com) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., Wellmark Synergy Health, Inc. and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., Wellmark Synergy Health, Inc. and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.