Legislators recognized for walking the talk of good health

(Olympia, Wash.) – Six state legislators, three of them representing western Washington, helped earn thousands dollars for local schools for their participation in the Move It walking challenge. Regence BlueShield will present $5,000 in grants on behalf of local legislators to the following western Washington schools:

• Ardmore Elementary, Bellevue – Tuesday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m.
• West View Elementary, Burlington – Wednesday, June 11 at approximately 11:30 a.m.
• Mill Creek Middle School, Kent – to be awarded this fall

The 2008 legislative challenge took part during this year’s Washington State Legislative Session. With the rising rate of childhood obesity, Regence began the Move It program in 2005 as a way for leaders to demonstrate healthy behaviors to the public and set a good example for the next generation. During the challenge, state legislators wear pedometers to track their steps.

The legislators who took the most steps earned donations for schools in their districts for health-related programs or initiatives. The three legislators who walked the farthest earned $3,500, $2,500 or $1,500, depending on their finishing place, for a school in their respective legislative district. Three honorable mention awards of $1,000 were also awarded.

Western Washington legislators won three of the six awards. The 2008 second place winner was Rep. Dave Quall (D-Mt. Vernon), from the 40th Legislative District. The retired teacher and Chair of the House Education Committee will present his $2,500 check from the Regence Move It challenge to West View Elementary on Wednesday, June 11. The award, presented in conjunction with the school’s annual carnival, will be used to purchase health-related books.

The third place award for the Regence 2008 Move It challenge was won by Sen. Rodney Tom (R-Bellevue) of the 48th Legislative District. The Senator will present his $1,500 check during Ardmore Elementary’s “Multicultural Night” celebration on Tuesday evening, June 10. The Bellevue school intends to use the donation for playground equipment.

Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Kent) from the 33rd Legislative District and Chair of the Senate Health Committee, received an Honorable Mention award. Mill Creek Middle School in Kent is the recipient of her $1,000 award. The school plans to use the funds for gym equipment.

About Regence BlueShield
Regence BlueShield is a leading health plan in Washington with more than one million members, offering health, life and dental insurance. We are the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving nearly three million members as Regence BlueShield (in Washington), Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Each plan is a not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com.