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Lohrville wins Grand Blue Mile-Healthiest State Initiative ‘Set the Pace’ Challenge

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.”