DETROIT, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Marissa Orzame, a seventh grader at Boulan Park Middle School in Troy, Mich., will be bringing a special guest to school this spring, when Detroit Lions' quarterback Matthew Stafford visits the students for a special school assembly focused on healthy eating and exercise. Marissa overcame strong competition to become the winner of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's second-annual "Make the Play for Healthy Habits" video contest. Winning the contest this year was especially rewarding to Marissa, who also made it to the finalist round in 2012.
"I'm so excited to win the contest," Marissa said. "Being a finalist last year was a great experience and I even had the chance to meet Matthew Stafford. However, it was very important to me that I win this year, so that all of my friends, and everyone at my school, had the chance to meet him, too."
Video entries were submitted from school children around the state, answering the question: "What would you do to make Michigan healthier?" Five students made it to the finals, and thousands of votes were cast over a three week period of online voting to pick the winner. In addition to a school assembly with Matthew Stafford, Marissa will star as a guest video blogger for the Blues on AHealthierMichigan.org throughout the year.
"It's an honor to be involved in the 'Make the Play' contest and be a part of a program that encourages kids to live healthier lives," stated Stafford. "I'm extremely impressed that Marissa didn't give up after not winning the contest last year. Instead, she was even more motivated to win this year, and her hard work and dedication paid off. I admire her for demonstrating that kind of commitment to achieving her goals at such a young age."
"We congratulate each of our 'Make the Play' finalists for the creative and exceptional work they put into their video submissions," stated Andrew Hetzel, vice president of corporate communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. "Good health for our kids is a community effort, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is proud that our five finalists had such strong support from their schools, family, and friends during the contest. Marissa's drive and determination presents a positive, inspirational message to kids – persevering to achieve success."
The contest is an extension of the Blues' ongoing efforts to combat childhood obesity in Michigan. According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being. Schools play a particularly critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors. Schools also provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. All the kids' videos can be viewed at ahealthiermichigan.org/kidcontest.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit www.bcbsm.com.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan