suwannee wellness initiativeA little over three years ago, the Suwannee County School Board received a wellness grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, their  insurance company.  It was given as an incentive to encourage, motivate and become healthier employees.

Monday, October 14 marked the Suwannee County Wellness Initiative’s 3rd Annual Health Fair and Professional Development Day.  Over 40 Health & Fitness vendors were present that day, sharing their knowledge with the employees of Suwannee County School District.  The Suwannee County School Baord Wellness Coordinator is Katherine Wood.  Committee members include:  Lori Saunders, Facilities; Tina Colvin, Transportation; Kim Thomas, Suwannee-Hamilton Technical Center; Margaret Wooley, District Office; Cindy Wiggins, Branford High; Mary Roberts, Branford Elementary; Kim Mott, Suwannee Primary; Andrew Chapman and Tralene Sasso, Suwannee Elementary; Jennifer Stevens and Carolina Figueroa, Suwannee Intermediate; Tiffany Bellenger-Smith and Lila Rissman, Suwannee Middle; Damon Wooley, Karen Williams,  and myself, Suwannee High.  As a committee, we take part in  planning the annual health fair.  This year’s event was a total SUCCESS!

Since the Wellness Initiative has been established, Suwannee County has shown a remarkable increase in the number of people that are changing their lifestyles and becoming more health conscious.  The Wellness Initiative partnered with the Suwannee Recreation Department and installed a four-station Par Course located at the First Federal Sportsplex in Live Oak, Florida and an amazing Disc Golf course at the Live Oak Heritage Park and Gardens.

The Wellness Initiative has been working hard to promote a 5k race at least once a month to benefit non-profit organizations such as the Turkey Trot in support of the Suwannee Thanksgiving Project; Back to School Bash 5K and Hog Jog 5K,  in support of the Back to School Bash that provides hundreds of students with backpacks, paper, pencils, etc. for the upcoming school year.

The Wellness Initiative has timed 5k’s sponsored by the following business and non-profit organizations:  Vivid Visions;  Cheek & Scott;  NJROTC;  Stephen Foster Memorial Park; Melody Church;  and the Suwannee County Relay for Life.

I, as a Wellness Initiative committee member and Suwannee County School Board employee, can honestly say that since the birth of the Wellness Initiative, Live Oak and the surrounding areas have shown a huge increase in the number of health conscious people.  More and more are getting fit and involved in the area 5K events as well as traveling to Gainesville, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Ft. White, Lake City, Madison and more.

I encourage everyone to continue  getting fit, being fit and staying fit.  There are several ways to enjoy exercise, so find what works for you and get started.  Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today!

Be Blessed,