In 2014, Suffolk Sister Cities International was put in touch with Healthy Ambitions, a wellness program in Suffolk, England, similar to the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community. Each year, Healthy Ambitions encourages teams of five participants to put on pedometers, record steps, and meet the Million Step Challenge. In 2013, about 125 teams were involved. For 2014, Healthy Ambitions was seeking involvement from various "Suffolkians" around the world. Since Suffolk Sister Cities International is linked with Suffolk, England, we decided to participate, even though there was only a month left until the Challenge began. With the assistance of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community and the coordination of Healthy People Healthy Suffolk, SSCI worked hard to get residents of Suffolk to sign up, begin a walking regimen, and gain awareness of similarly health-minded people in Suffolk, England. A grant from the Obici Healthcare Foundation helped to pay for t-shirts, advertising, flyers and prizes. SSCI also invited the Mayor and Council Members to participate in the Challenge. The final steps were taken at the Peanut Fest 5k Run/Walk in October 2014, where prizes were given to those individuals who recorded the most steps.
The final result: while we didn't "beat" Suffolk, England, over 550 local Suffolkians accepted the challenge to start a new lifestyle through walking thousands of steps each day. That's a "win" in our book!
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