Health Challenge wraps up

ST. MARYS — After 20 weeks of hard work, dieting and exercise, participants of the Grand Health Challenge wrapped up this year’s competition Thursday evening.
The Evening Leader Publisher Deb Zwez welcomed participants to the Grand Health Challenge finale, which was held at Memorial High School.
“I’d like to congratulate you all for being losers, but in losing, that you’re all winners,” Zwez said. “We really had an extraordinary year this year because I think this year we had the fewest number of dropouts throughout the challenge.”
After attendance prizes were awarded, which included two memberships to area YMCA facilities and seven books written by past guest speaker Joe Piscatella were given out through the raffle as well, which were donated by Ronda Shelby.
“Ronda and her late husband, Larry, were in the challenge about three years ago,” Grand Health System Community Outreach Coordinator Anne Larger said. “Her late husband, Larry, was actually the biggest male loser and he was a cheerleader for everyone on the team.”
Shelby also donated an additional $100, which was raffled off to one lucky participant in the Grand Health Challenge.
Zwez then announced the results for the Grand Health Family Challenge, which included six teams still in the running: In sixth place, “The Winning Team,” having lost 0.05 percent of their starting weight; in fifth place, “Little Debbie and the Snack Cakes,” having lost 1.53 percent of their starting weight; in fourth place, “Cut Your Gut,” having lost 8.46 percent of their starting weight; in third place, “Unfit,” having lost 10.92 percent of their starting weight; in second place, “Be Happy,” having lost 12.56 percent of their starting weight. Having lost 16.67 percent of their starting weight, the winners of the family challenge were “Ethan and the Popsicles,” which consisted of Pam, Kevin and Ethan Thomas, of Coldwater.
“We just wanted to lose weight and be healthy,” Pam Thomas said. “Even if we didn’t win the money, we did it for us and we feel better.”
The family plans to use the money toward a beach vacation, she noted.
The top 10 teams for the traditional challenge were then announced, which included: In 10th place, “Guts and Butts,” having lost 11.84 percent of their starting weight; in ninth place, “The Breakfast Club,” having lost 13.15 percent of their starting weight; in eighth place, “Thin in a Minute,” having lost 13.43 percent of their starting weight; in seventh place, “Fat Boys,” having lost 13.82 percent of their starting weight; in sixth place, “Slim Jims to Be,” having lost 15.81 percent of their starting weight; in fifth place, “TPTH,” having lost 16.53 percent of their starting weight; in fourth place, “Round Mounds,” having lost 17.15 percent of their starting weight.
In third place, having lost 18.44 percent of their starting weight, was “Slim Possible,” which consisted of Lori Atha, Amy Bodell, Cheryl Young and Dave Young. “Slim Possible” received a check for $300. In second place, having lost 18.60 percent of their starting weight, was “Thinspiration,” which consisted of Shelli Adams, Sue Braun, Dacia Nichols and Tim Nichols. “Thinspiration” received a check for $500.
The winners for the 2011 Grand Health Challenge, having lost 19.08 percent of their starting weight, was “Fabulous Four,” which consisted of Holly Anderson, Bob Anderson, Anna Engel and Christie Freewalt. “Fabulous Four” received a check for $1,000.
One “Fabulous Four” team member shared how they became involved in the challenge, as well as what she learned in the process.
“We had just gotten back from a trip to Disney World where we had all of the food we wanted for free,” Holly Anderson said. “We went on vacation and the day we came back, I heard about the Health Challenge. So I called Christie and called Anna and was like, ‘We need to lose weight, that’s it, that’s all there is to it,’ and then I called Bob at work.”
Portion control and exercising are two aspects of the program Anderson said she would continue to incorporate into her everyday life. The team said they planned to use their winnings toward an evening at a comedy club.
“Once again, on behalf of Anne and those of us at The Evening Leader and Wapakoneta Daily News, thank you all very much for your participation in this year’s Grand Health Challenge,” Zwez said after all of the winners had been announced. “We know the money’s a great motivator, but our point in bringing you all together in doing this kind of program is that everybody can adopt at least one, or two healthy habits so that we all can live longer and healthier lives and be on this planet just a little bit longer than maybe we would have before we started. So keep up the great work.”