Last June I wrote about the Healthy Futures committee as a community-wide initative to reduce inactivity and poor nutrition by making the healthy choice the easy choice. Through programs, projects and policies we are working to create a healthier community. The members meet once a month to discuss community activities and programs that will offer Milford an easy choice.
In the last nine months, our group has grown to include active members Lauren Marciszyn of YMCA, Jon Burnham of Hannaford Supermarket, Ellen Freedman and Kathleen Corcoran of Milford Regional Medical Center, Milford Schools Superintendent Robert Tremblay, Joe Cutrufo of WalkBoston, Carla Tuttle of Milford Public Schools Food Service, Sara Humiston of Milford Family Network, Anne Berard of Milford Town Library, Liane Blyn of Athletic Based Training (ABT), Judy Dagnese, the director of Milford school nursing, Amy Leone of Community Impact, Tamara Palmer of Palmer Family Chiropractic, Diane Spittler of Creative Community Childcare, Michele Dafonte and Martha Pellegrino of Blackstone Valley Technical High School, Kavita Vasant of Hopedale Unitarian church, Paul Mazzuchelli, the Milford health agent, and myself of 4 Better Health.
Tuesday’s meeting focused on an exciting upcoming walking map. This extensive map was designed by WalkBoston along with members of Healthy Futures for Milford with minute markers, historical sites and walkability to support the walking initiative for our community. Ellen Freedom, of Milford Regional, expressed her excitement about working with the Milford Highway Department to place concrete stamps in the sidewalks in places along the walking map. The map template should be available for display at the upcoming Family Fun Fair on March 31, at which many members of the Healthy Futures committee plan to host tables and offer activities such as portion sizes, beverage sugar games, YMCA exercises, family boot camp and a letter boxing Girl Scout.
Also discussed was WMRC Radio kicking off their 12-week weight loss challenge, hosted by four local fitness centers. ABT is one of those centers and Liane Blyn was happy to report that members have already lost weight. Many of us live, work and have children in the schools or sports, but may not know this challenge was available. Yet another reason the Healthy Futures group hopes to increase the community-wide awareness to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Along with the above, we discussed April’s Healthy Kid's Month and the many ways the community and school systems are planning to support healthy initiatives. National Walking day is on Wednesday April 4. Group ideas included having a town-wide event involving businesses and groups, where participants would log their walking minutes. This could possibly include a contest to motivate and empower employees to move more during busy work schedules, and would support wellness goals. This also is the goal for the National Walk at Lunch Day on April 25. Power in numbers. Motivation from others. The community can help!
Starting the week of April 10, Milford elementary schools will have a “Healthy Kids Week” with a free open swim, a cable show called "Diced" with Jr. Milford Chefs, and an event in which all the schools will have continuous walking on April 12. Check out the School websites April 1 for the formal calendar.
On April 25, ABT will host the first annual Training Combine, for ages 8 to 18, as a fundraiser for the Milford Youth Center. The entry fee is $10.
Healthy Futures is a small group with big ideas. We are dedicated to a Healthy Future for Milford and looking for more members who have resources and creativity the committee and community can use to help us all flourish.
The next Healthy Futures meeting is at 10 a.m. April 24.