Aroostook County – TAMC’s Fit & Fun program was designed to provide low or no cost events within the community to inspire people to lead a healthy lifestyle, but it took on a slightly different look this season.
To help encourage kids, adults, and families to get or stay active this winter, TAMC created a Fit & Fun Winter Challenge. TAMC partnered with several local businesses to host a list of events. As incentive to attend events, members of the community were asked to bring a passport punch card, provided by the hospital, and get it punched. After a certain number of punches, prizes were awarded.
After attending three events, participants received a TAMC headband to keep their ears warm this winter. Other prizes at various levels of participation include a sports bag, a travel mug, and a sweatshirt or hoodie.
“The reaction to the challenge has been fantastic,” said Jamie Guerrette, community health specialist at TAMC. “We’ve seen a lot of new faces this winter, and they’re really enjoying the events we’ve been offering.”
The challenge has included a wide variety of outdoor events, as well as some indoor ones, to choose from. Activities to date have included free skating at the Forum, sliding at the Presque Isle Housing Authority, a snowshoe hike, and skiing activities at Bigrock in Mars Hill and both Quoggy Jo and the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.
Six year old Steven Marcel of Presque Isle has been to almost all of the events so far, with his grandmother Becky Martinez safely in tow.
“He enjoys all the activities. It’s good to keep him active with other kids, and it wasn’t really expensive,” said Martinez. “I’d like to see it continue all year round.”
Events that are still to come for the Winter Challenge include TAMC’s Sunday Swim on March 4 in the pool at the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Gentile Hall from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Members of the community are invited to swim for only $1. There will be free bowling on Saturday, March 17, from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Northern Lanes in Presque Isle, and the challenge wraps up with Family Night at UMPI on Thursday, March 22, with free access to the rock wall, walking track and fitness classes with Kelli Marston.
As a result of the resounding success of the Fit & Fun Winter Challenge, Guerrette said TAMC is currently developing a spring challenge that would mirror it.
“As we work toward developing a Spring Challenge, we welcome local businesses or organizations to contact us if they’d like to be a part of it,” said Guerrette. “What really has worked well this winter was when we were able to combine some events that TAMC offered with others that were already happening. By partnering with local groups, we could help promote their events and sometimes even sponsor it to help keep the cost low. We are always looking for new activities to add to keep things exciting and fun for people.”
For information contact Jamie Guerrette at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-768-4008.