The Wolf River Health Foundation (WRAHF) held its 9th annual dinner, "Denim and Diamonds - Giddy Up and Give," on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Crystal Falls Banquet Facility in New London.
The money raised at the sold-out event was designated toward a new outpatient treatment center at New London Family Medical Center. Final numbers were not available at press time, but roughly $55,000 was raised at the event.
In addition to silent and live auctions, Hero Awards were also awarded.
Outstanding Business Healthcare Award
The 2012 Outstanding Business Healthcare Award went to Marion Body Works.
With the goal of keeping its employees and families healthy, Marion Body Works uses education, activity and teamwork to improve the health of their employees and families.
An active Wellness Committee works to educate, engage and energize its employees to live a healthier life - both at work and home.
Making it fun is key. From Biggest Loser contests, Fitness Challenges, and Kickball Tournaments - Marion Body provides fun ways to be active. It also lives its mission of wellness by providing education through personal health assessments for every employee, nicotine cessation programs, flu shots and more. Even the company picnic is a teachable moment, where traditional unhealthy choices are replaced with tasty nutritious ones - and of course a healthy portion of physical activity.
Marion Body Works has taken its own spirit of wellness out to its communities through numerous company supported events. National Family Night Out is a favorite where the company not only makes a financial contribution but employees work a booth to educate children about exercise and healthy snacks.
Marion Body is dedicated to making a difference for its employees, its employee's families and its surrounding communities. As nominator Lisa Betow said, "Knowledge is power, and getting the information out and in front of people about real health concerns can be eye opening."
Outstanding Group Healthcare Hero Award
The 2012 Outstanding Group Healthcare Hero Award was awarded to Rural Health Initiative.
The Rural Health Initiative was founded in 2003 by Shawano Medical Center and ThedaCare.
More than 18 percent of Wisconsin dairy farm families have no health insurance. Another 41 percent have high deductible plans that provide only major medical coverage. The Rural Health Initiative was created to address growing concerns regarding health and safety issues facing today's farm families.
As part of the Rural Health Initiative, a nurse makes free house calls to all interested farm families to provide health information, education and referrals to area services and listen to the family's health concerns - at home right around the kitchen table.
"The idea to take healthcare directly to the farmers came from the families themselves. Farmers tend to be isolated and everyone comes to them - the milk truck, the vet, suppliers and more - so it just made sense to take healthcare to them," said Rhonda Strebel, executive director for The Rural Health Initiative.
The Rural Health Initiative serves Shawano, Outagamie and Waupaca counties.
Outstanding Individual Healthcare Hero Award
The 2012 Outstanding Individual Healthcare Hero Award went to Karen Petermann.
Petermann is one hard lady to catch. Her commitment to wellness and physical activity is remarkable - maybe even extraordinary. A mother, teacher and lifelong learner, Petermann has taken her education and passion and put it to work.
She started with a simple goal - fight the childhood obesity epidemic. There was nothing big- involved, no rocket science; it was just a plain and simple plan - get kids interested in running. Petermann started a running club with students' grades second through fourth at Longfellow Elementary School in Clintonville. They ran before school and trained after school. Soon, this running club blossomed into something big - at least it felt that way to the kids.
Today, the Clintonville Running Club has more than 51 members and nine adult volunteers. It has become an esteemed group of athletes and receives invitations to prestigious running events around the state, including the Bellin Run and Lambeau Run.
But it's not all about running. Petermann has taken a group of young people and helped them find joy through running while taking care of their mind, body and spirit.
The Running Club is just one small look at her resume of her commitment to improving the health of her community. She has been instrumental in helping bring education and wellness to the forefront of her work; Jump Rope for Heart, Wellness Team, Tasty Tuesday's, Diabetes Education, staff and classroom wellness walks, and the list continues.
Petermann said that her inspiration came from her mother, who was a physical education teacher and coach. She fought for physical wellness before it was cool, while others were simply into only team sports.
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