Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan presented seven Lansing-area municipalities with $2,000 grants Sunday for completing the 12th annual Winter Warm-Up and Blues Community Challenge. The awards were presented at the challenge’s finale, a 5K Fun Run/Walk attended by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, where nearly 200 challenge participants took part in the free Blue Cross event. The free, eight-week challenge, supported by Community Partners in Health, Capital Area Health Alliance and Playmakers Fitness Foundation, began Jan. 24, and encouraged local residents of all ages to increase and log their physical activity. More than 650 people from the seven area municipalities registered for the challenge, some representing a team of people, bringing the estimated number of total participants closer to 1,000, who worked together to reach the challenge’s goal of 250,000 miles walked and ran. Altogether, the participants logged a total of 249,634 miles, an average of nearly 250 miles per participant, the equivalent of walking from the State Capitol, across the Mackinac Bridge, to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The challenge featured more than 50 events over the eight-week period– including basketball, water aerobics, indoor walking, rock climbing and more – which were hosted by Charlotte, Delhi Township, Delta Township, East Lansing, Lansing, St. Johns and Williamston. The Blue Cross grants will be used to support public health and wellness investments in participating communities. “We commend all the participants in the Winter Warm-Up Blues Community Challenge and salute our community partners for helping residents take steps to live healthier, more active lifestyles,” said B.J. Puchala, senior community liaison for Blue Cross. “We know for many, this was the first step in starting and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com. Photo credit: Julie Bitely
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