ROCHESTER, Minn., Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Every day, residents of Olmsted County are making changes to create healthier communities. Now, community members can share their stories by entering the Making it Better Challenge and sharing how they make it better where we live, work, learn or play. And, one story will be part of a new set of advertisements showing how people are "making it better" in their community.
Throughout the month of October, the Making it Better Challenge asks Olmsted County residents to share stories, photos and videos of what they are doing to provide others with greater access to healthy foods or more opportunities for physical activity in their school, neighborhood or workplace. No effort is too small – Rochester parents and educators working in partnership to provide healthier snacks at school, employers in Stewartville encouraging active commuting to work or Byron neighbors getting together to improve pedestrian safety.
"The Making it Better Challenge is a great opportunity to highlight the efforts of those who are making a difference," said Kari Etrheim, Health Education Manager at Olmsted County Public Health. "Everyday, people in our community are working to help make our community healthier, but their efforts often go unnoticed. It's time to share these stories and inspire others to get involved."
The Making it Better Challenge will take place October 1-31, 2011. Anyone who lives, works or attends school in Olmsted County may submit their story at www.makingitbettermn.org. Complete rules and guidelines are available online.
The Challenge submission that receives the most "thumbs up" will be featured in a new Making it Better advertisement that will debut January 2012. All Challenge participants will receive a stainless steel water bottle.
In addition, each week during the submission period, three participants will be randomly drawn to choose from one of five prize packages, which include:
- Take-a-Hike: The winner and five friends will each receive a yearlong pass to the Minnesota State Parks system and a backpack filled with a t-shirt, healthy snacks and a pedometer.
- To the Market: The winner and five friends will each receive a cookbook and $50 certificate to a local farmers market or co-op. To help carry home their treasures, each person will receive a tote bag.
- Sous-Chefs: The winner and up to 11 friends will participate in a group cooking session and dinner led by Kate T. Moore, host of Family Dinner Minneapolis. Kate will come to the location of your choice and help your group prepare a healthy dinner together, teaching and cooking throughout the process.
- Ski, Skate or Snowboard: A day of winter fun for up to 12 people to cross country ski at Quarry Hill Park or ice skate at Rochester Recreation Center Ice Skating Rink; or up to 5 people to downhill ski or snowboard at Welch Village. Afterwards, warm up with hot cider and a healthy lunch. This package includes ski, skate or snowboard rentals.
- Get into the Groove: Outfit your school, workplace or neighborhood with some new equipment and get everyone moving with a $500 gift certificate to Gopher Sport. Choose from scooters, jump ropes, mats, basketballs and more.
In addition, the Challenge submission that receives the most "thumbs up" will be featured in a new Making it Better advertisement that will debut January 2012. Examples of local residents who are making it better in their community can be found online at www.makingitbettermn.org.
About Making it Better
Making it Better seeks to bring people together to discover, celebrate and share stories of Olmsted County residents who are working to make their communities healthier by increasing access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities. The campaign focuses on three primary areas where healthy changes are taking place – neighborhoods, schools and the workplace. Throughout the campaign, Olmsted County residents are invited to share their ideas for making it better where they live, learn, work and play. For more information, visit www.makingitbettermn.org or follow the campaign at http://www.facebook.com/MakingitBetterOlmstedCounty or twitter.com/BetterOlmsted.
Communities Putting Prevention to Work in Olmsted County
Making it Better is made possible by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW), a federally-funded initiative that supports policy, systems and environmental changes to reduce obesity, a primary cause of chronic disease. Effectively addressing some of the key behaviors that contribute to obesity – lack of physical activity and poor nutrition – can have a significant impact on the health of a community.
Olmsted County is one of 50 communities nationwide selected to participate in the national CPPW initiative, which is being led locally by Olmsted County Public Health Services with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health. The Making it Better campaign is being launched concurrently in Minneapolis and Olmsted County.
SOURCE Olmsted County Public Health Services