Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mississippi editor challenges local officials, university students to health contest

Michael Simmons, right, managing editor of The Cleveland Current in northwest Mississippi, has challenged local officials and community members to a health and wellness competition for 2010. To help promote the BlueCross BlueShield Healthy Initiative run by Delta State University, Simmons encouraged the Cleveland mayor, aldermen, the Cleveland School Board and the DSU senior cabinet to undergo baseline health screenings. At the end of the year, the participants will be measured for improvements.

If Simmons beats "Team Cleveland" he gets an official declaration for Michael Simmons Day from the city in his honor. A certain age group of local students, determined by which group has the most students sign up for the health initiative, would be invited to a party on the DSU campus to celebrate the occasion. "So, all entities I have called out have a good reason to stop me," Simmons wrote in his column announcing the challenge. "I’m sure the city board doesn’t really want to have a day in my honor. I’m sure the school district doesn’t want to have to let children escape for a day to play."

Cleveland adults are also encouraged to sign up with their improvement counting toward Team Cleveland and against Simmons. Simmons will receive a boost for the number of students he gets to sign up, but health improvements from the children will not help him. He encourages those hoping to "stop the threat of Michael Simmons Day" to contact the Healthy Initiative office for more information. (Read more)

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