Healthy initiatives earn Lacombe another ChooseWell award

(Left to right) Lisa McLaughin, Program Manager, Communities ChooseWell; Sonya Beauclair, City of Lacombe Recreation and Culture Services; Alim Gillani, Project Lead Public Health and Wellness, Government of Alberta and Candace Nykiforuk, ARPA Board and ChooseWell Advisory Committee. Photo supplied

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The City of Lacombe has once again been recognized by ChooseWell for its healthy community initiatives.

This time, the city was given the ChooseWell Healthy Community Award for Building Capacity from the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA).

“I am very proud of Lacombe’s continued success as a ChooseWell Community,” said Recreation and Culture Manager Sandi Stewart in a release issued Monday. “Eating right and being active are becoming more important as society deals with the fight against chronic illnesses and I’m honoured that Lacombe is recognized as a proactive leader in the province through Communities ChooseWell.”

The award was given to the city and community services staff for coordinating a variety of programs, activities and challenges to promote healthy eating and active living lifestyles throughout the year, including the following:

  • Painted games on some trails and sidewalks to encourage free play
  • Added new games to the Block Party kits to get neighbourhoods outside playing
  • Outdoor Scavenger Hunt for Earth Hour
  • Operation Lunch Box, getting residents packing healthy lunches, targeting schoolkids by running the program at the beginning of the school year
  • Revamped the Find the Right Fit program (change-over to coupons) to increase public participation
  • Provided Welcome Wagon with pool passes for new residents
  • Pool passes made available at the Mary C. Moore Public Library
  • Facilitation of a number of free wellness sessions through the Community Wellness Services Steering Committee.

Previously, the City of Lacombe has received ChooseWell awards for Providing Healthy Education (2017), Creating Supportive Environments (2016), and Overall High Achiever Award (2013).

“I am glad to see that all the work we put into promoting healthy lifestyles is being recognized,” said Sonya Beauclair, community services ChooseWell coordinator. “Persistence is key to success. Our goal is for people to know that they are making a good choice when they see the ChooseWell logo.”

As per the ARPA website, Communities ChooseWell is “sparking a movement in Alberta to create healthy communities where eating well and being active are valued and an easy choice for everyone.”

It defines a healthy community as one not just influenced by hospitals, doctors and drugs, but what happens beyond the health care system, such as the ability for residents to access affordable, healthy food and recreational activities.

A free program, ChooseWell supports communities through Seed grants which support healthy eating, active living programs as well as events and projects, webinars and workshops to learn more about healthy communities, recognition, and access to resources to help make the community better through activity and healthy eating.

For more information on ChooseWell, visit arpaonline.ca/choosewell.

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