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Start Somewhere Walk Oct. 7

Two weeks to go

September 23, 2011
By JESSE HELLING, Messenger city editor , Messenger News

The number of locations and participants for the Start Somewhere Walk continues to grow.

The walk, slated for noon on Oct. 7, is the inaugural event of the Healthiest State Initiative, a plan to make Iowa the No. 1 spot by 2016.

Presently, Iowa ranks 19th.

To date, more than 58,000 Iowans have pledged to be part of the event in which people can participate by gathering to walk 1 kilometer.

Since the project was initially announced, 19 locations throughout the city have been designated walk sites, said Ann Halbur, marketing and events coordinator for Hy-Vee in Fort Dodge and a member of a local committee organizing walks in Fort Dodge.

According to Halbur, an exact number of local walkers signed up to date has not yet been determined. Committee members have set a goal of 5,000 local participants.

Fact Box

Start Somewhere Walk sites in FD

WHAT: At noon on Oct. 7, people in Fort Dodge are being asked to join one of the 1 kilometer Start Somewhere Walks being held at 16 community sites.

HOW: To be counted as part of the 5,000 walkers community organizers are hoping will participate, go to www.iowa and pledge to be part of the Fort Dodge walk.

WHY: To help Fort Dodge's goal of being selected for a Blue Zone project, 10 of which will be financially supported in their goals to become healthier communities over the next five years.

WHERE: The list of sites is growing. Current locations include:

Butler Elementary School

945 S. 18th St.

Community Christian School

3058 10th Ave. N.

Cooper Elementary School

1523 N. 24th St.

Decker Truck Line Inc.

3584 Fifth Ave. S.

Duncombe Elementary School

615 N. 16th St.

Fair Oaks Middle School

416 S. 10th St.

Fort Dodge Community School District Central Office

104 S. 17th St.

Fort Dodge Regional Airport

1639 Nelson Ave.

Fort Dodge Housing Agency

700 S. 17th St.

Feelhaver Elementary School

1300 14th Ave. N.

Friendship Haven

420 Kenyon Road

Iowa Central Community College

1 Triton Circle

Marion Home

2400 Sixth Ave. N.

Phillips Middle School

1015 Fifth Ave. N.

Crossroads Mall

271 S. 25th St.

Riverside Elementary School

733 F St.

St. Edmond School

501 N. 22nd St.

FD Rec

1422 First Ave. S.

Trinity Regional Medical Center

802 Kenyon Road

Webster County Public Health Department

330 First Ave. N.

To count as part of the total, walkers must register online at

There, they will be invited to sign the Healthiest State Initiative Pledge, which states that "I pledge to be a part of the Healthiest State Initiative and to participate in a Start Somewhere Walk in my community."

A keystone of the HSI will be the Blue Zones Project, an effort to help people transform their communities and live longer, healthier lives. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield will financially support that effort in 10 Iowa communities over the next five years. Communities chosen for that support will be selected, in part, by the number of its residents who sign up online to participate in the Start Somewhere Walks.

Contact Jesse Helling at (515) 573-2141 or



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