In an unprecedented display of collaboration to inspire personal growth among employees and greater community wellbeing, the City of Gary, Ivy Tech Community College Northwest, Methodist Hospitals, and NIPSCO are holding “Fitness Fridays.” These diverse partners offer employees an eclectic range of activities, ranging from line dancing to a “Biggest Loser” contest, and from volunteer activities to even financial counseling. For example, Ivy Tech Northwest is holding Fitness Fridays from 3:30 to 4 p.m. at its Gary campus.
“The primary goal is to focus on personal growth and development of our faculty and staff,” said Campus President Marlon Mitchell, Ph.D. “We believe that when we offer wellness activities that engage the mind, body and spirit, we can create an environment that enhances personal and professional productivity, added Dr. Mitchell.
At Methodist Hospitals, “An estimated 80 employees are in the Biggest Loser Campaign and Fitness Friday events,” said Michael A. McGee, MD, PMH, FACEP. In this program, employees receive weekly messages of encouragement, information about diets, and the opportunity to participate in multiple fitness classes and events. Employees also will be invited to free “beach workouts” Saturday mornings at Marquette Park hosted by the American Family Insurance. “All employees can attend these sessions even if they are not in the Biggest Loser Contest,” added Dr. McGee.
Fitness Fridays is just one in a series of activities to encourage better health leading up to a 5k Walk/Run Teen Violence Prevention Fundraiser at Marquette Park in Gary on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the teen violence prevention programs of Project Outreach and Prevention (POP) on Teen Violence Foundation. The community is invited to participate.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said, “We are so pleased to join Ivy Tech, Methodist and NIPSCO in this fitness initiative to encourage employee wellness for Gary workers. The city of Gary encourages employee fitness through class offerings at the Hudson and Campbell Center as well as health events we host on a quarterly basis,” she said. “The Friday Fitness program is another opportunity for all of us to participate in sharing health lifestyle tips, which makes for a stronger workforce.”
Said NIPSCO’s Eddie Melton, manager, corporate citizenship and employee involvement, “NIPSCO is pleased to join in Fitness Fridays because we recognize the importance of employee wellness and the value is has in our community.” He added, “Fitness Friday is another opportunity to encourage employees to contribute to the greater health of our communities and region.” Other supporters are Lake Area United Way and Gift of Hope Foundation.
To register for, or donate to, the 5K Walk/Run Teen Violence Prevention Fundraiser on Aug, 2, click on www.poponviolence.org. The cost is $25 for individuals, $10 for teens under 18. All proceeds go to benefit the POP on Violence Initiative that serves youth in Merrillville and Gary.