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New “Seal of Approval” program to highlight opportunities to keep Iowans moving

Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative has announced a new “seal of approval” program that will highlight opportunities to keep Iowans moving throughout the year. As part of the program, eligible walks, runs, swims and bike events across the state will be endorsed and promoted by the Initiative.

“One of the goals of the Healthiest State Initiative is to shine a spotlight on the great things Iowans are doing to improve health and well-being – and to get more Iowans to join them,” said Ric Jurgens, board chairperson for the Initiative. “Our new endorsement program will offer our ‘seal of approval’ and help increase the visibility of healthy events throughout Iowa.”

To become endorsed by the Healthiest State Initiative, event organizers can go to the Initiative website at iowahealthieststate.com/endorse and submit basic information. If the event involves physical activity – whether it’s walking, running or something else – it is eligible for endorsement. Endorsed events can highlight their connection to the Healthiest State Initiative through a special logo, and the Initiative will promote the events through its communications programs. Events with Healthiest State Initiative endorsement will be asked to promote the Healthiest State Walk on Oct. 8.

Expanded Walk Participation Goal for 2014

Healthiest State Initiative leaders also announced a goal to expand participation in the Healthiest State Walk to 500,000 in 2014. The past three walks each featured nearly 300,000 participants – or almost one of every 10 Iowans.

“The Healthiest State Walk has become a great event throughout the state,” said Doug Reichardt, vice chair of the Healthiest State Initiative board. “Just as we want to keep improving our overall well-being ranking, we also want to improve our walk to include even more Iowans.”

Reichardt said that Iowa Lottery President and CEO Terry Rich has agreed to chair the 2014 Healthiest State Walk. Rich will lead a volunteer committee that will work to increase participation throughout the state.

“Terry is a great marketer, and we appreciate his leadership in working to make the 2014 Walk the best ever,” Reichardt said.

The Healthiest State Initiative is a privately led, public effort that engages Iowans and their communities throughout the state. It involves individuals, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, not-for-profits and the public sector in a broad-based, community-focused effort. For more information, visit www.healthieststate.com.

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