NEWS RELEASE ISSUED SEPTEMBER 3, 2013 BY LIVE WELL CRAWFORD COUNTY
Health & Wellness Committee Recognizes Healthy Initiative Leaders
PITTSBURG, Kan. (September 2013) – Live Well Crawford County is pleased to announce the 2013 Fall recipients of the Live Well Apple Award to John Lair, Special Olympics New Hope and the Girard Housing Authority Community Garden. We will present on Thursday September 5th at 3:30 at New Hope in Pittsburg and Friday, September 6th at 9:30 am at the GHA Community Garden.
The Apple Awards were created to recognize those individuals and businesses which have positively impacted the Health and Wellness of Crawford County. The recipients have been instrumental in creating programming or opportunities for people to implement healthy lifestyle changes. The most recent Apple Award recipients include Pittsburg Community Garden, Lisa Center, Nancy Miller, Kathy Stucky, and Susie Lundy. Past Apple Award recipients include Kendall Packaging, Franklin Community Council Incorporate, Roger Lomshek, SKIL Inc., Frontenac Recreation Department, Pitsco, USD 247 Health & Wellness Committee, Anna Noonoo and Beth Gorman.
The Girard Housing Authority Community Garden was started in 2010 with the help of Greenbush employees. The employee’s wanted to develop a garden for the community. The GHA residents expressed such enjoyment with the donation and saw the health and financial benefits, that a small group of residents approached the housing authority about creating a garden. With the help of equipment from USD 248 and GHA maintenace employees the area was prepped and five residents divided the area. They planned and planted their own area. Neighboring daycare groups and family members have enjoyed watching the growth of the garden. Some GHA residents are unable to partake in the garden due to age and physical conditions, but still partake in the garden by lending their knowledge. Due to its success, the five main residents began sharing with the others.
John Lair started Special Olympics New Hope in 2001. New Hope benefits adults and children with developmental disabilities. They started with two coaches and two athletes. Currently, they serve over 90 athletes and 49 certified coaches and compete in 15 different sports. In the past 12 years Lair, his staff and athletes have received many awards and honors through Special Olympics and other organizations. In 2009, John started the Bike for Life Program to benefit Bourbon, Crawford and Cherokee counties. The athlete chooses a destination from Pittsburg, like New York (1255 miles), and rides a stationary bike for 15 min to an hour 2-5 days a week while working with a volunteer who then logs their miles. They also offer different workout sessions as well. The first athlete Lair worked with was Scott Ball who has now lost up to 160 pounds. Lair wrote that “intellectuals with disabilities are 50% more likely to be obese than people without disabilities.”
New Hope’s program is yearlong for the athletes. New this year the Bike for Life Program added a new challenge “Half-a-ton-in-2013.” The athletes were challenged to lose 1000 pounds and have already reached the goal. This has inspired Lair and a few of his coaches to do the same. Between 3 of them they have lost 256 pounds.
The Live Well Crawford County Health & Wellness Committee is comprised of local community members whom share a common goal of facilitating, sharing, and encouraging opportunities for community members to live well and for Crawford County to become a healthier place to live. The Health and Wellness Committee will regularly honor businesses or individuals who exhibit a passion for helping our community Live Well. If you would like to nominate and recognize a company or individual, you may contact Joanna Rhodes, Live Well Coordinator.
For more information about the Live Well Apple Awards or to schedule photo opportunities, contact Joanna Rhodes at 620.232.1930 or livewellcrawfordcounty@gmail. Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LiveWellCrawfordCounty
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