Elementary school tracks that help awaken a community’s desire to move. Programs to teach children how to adapt lifelong healthy eating habits. Athletic fields that remove barriers for children with physical or mental health challenges.
A check for $110,000 was presented on Wednesday, Oct. 28 to St. Luke’s Children’s, the event’s title beneficiary. The money will help St. Luke’s continue to build community partnerships and provide opportunities to dig deeper roots into programs supported by Children’s.
“With a huge thank you to the participants and sponsors of FitOne, we are thrilled that for a third consecutive year we can provide a significant donation to St. Luke’s Children’s,” said FitOne Director Heather Hill.
The money represents a steady three-year climb for FitOne, which is produced and sponsored by St. Luke’s Health System. Funds from FitOne totaled $70,000 in 2013 when the event was in its first year. The amount raised has increased by $20,000 each year since 2013. Participation also is on a steady increase. There were nearly 13,000 participants this year (10,000 participated in 2014).
New community partnerships that have formed because of FitOne include a project to build a track at Nampa’s Endeavor Elementary School, which was funded by the High Five Children’s Health Collaborative and St. Luke’s Children’s in partnership with the Nampa School District and Healthy Nampa. It was dedicated on Sept. 11 and within six weeks children and community members have run and walked more than 4,500 miles on the track.
Money from 2015 will support similar projects in communities that include Caldwell, Marsing and Jerome. The funds allow St. Luke’s Children’s to support programs that are safe, structured and sustainable, explained Jean Mutchie, service line program manager for St. Luke’s.
“Without the FitOne funding we would never have the ability to go out and partner in a meaningful way in these environments,” Mutchie said. “And it is due to all those steps people take in FitOne. They are making this happen.”
In addition to raising more money for new programs and partnerships, FitOne is also expanding its community involvement this year. On Dec. 22 FitOne will host the first-ever Family Field Day at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. In addition to game admission, lunch and prizes, the ticket price also includes admission to a family-friendly fitness course. For every ticket sold, $3 is donated to St. Luke’s Children’s.
It all goes back to supporting FitOne’s mission to build healthier communities through fun, active living.
“The funds raised through FitOne are making a true impact for children in our communities through programs such as YEAH and the school tracks initiative, where we are empowering children and their families to get out and be active together, all in support of leading a healthier life,” Hill said.
Chereen Langrill was formerly a communications coordinator for St. Luke’s Health System.