January 5, 2012
Re: Mayors: Help your town stay healthy in the New Year.
Join the Mayors Wellness Campaign TODAY!
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study that found most people in the United States gain about a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That may not sound like a lot, but if you gain a pound a year over time without losing that weight, you’re carrying around a lot of extra pounds! I’d like to remind you of an important resource that will help your community achieve health and wellness goals this year and start the New Year off right.
The Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) supports mayors as champions of community health. By encouraging mayors to play a leadership role in supporting local opportunities for active, healthy lifestyles, the intent of the MWC is to reduce health care costs and foster active living and healthy lifestyles for all New Jersey citizens. Currently, more than half of the New Jersey’s 566 municipalities are participating in the campaign and are working aggressively to increase the overall health of their communities.
MWC was at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference this past November and signed up 20 new mayors for a total of 326 municipalities participating in the program. This was the sixth year MWC attended the conference, at which 4-time New Jersey Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs was honored as MWC’s newest spokesperson. Additionally, the town of Pequannock won a $1,000 wellness grant through a drawing held annually at the conference.
In other MWC news, three more towns received the highly competitive distinction of “New Jersey Healthy Town” in 2011: Bayhead, Belmar and Lincoln Park. This brings the total of New Jersey Healthy Towns to thirteen. Other towns that have received the MWC “Healthy Town” designation are: Bridgewater (2009), Clifton (2008), Fair Lawn (2010), Hamilton Township (Mercer County, 2007), Hillsborough (2010), Madison (2007), Nutley (2010), Parsippany (2009), Upper Saddle River (2010), and Woodbridge (2008.)
MWC was active in towns across the state in 2011. Mayors in Bernards Township, Nutley, Boonton, Woodbridge, and Scotch Plains joined with their community members to lose weight with “Biggest Loser” style contests. Vineland, West Milford, Paterson, Parsippany-Troy Hills, and Woodbridge competed in a smoking cessation program called “Kick Butt.” Two Mayors Healthy Cook-Off competitions were held last year – one in Lincoln Park and one in Woodbridge. In addition, many towns across the state have incorporated wellness into their yearly schedules, including activities such as fitness classes, health fairs, running clubs, walking clubs, and races.
If you haven’t already done so, please take the time to join the Mayors Wellness Campaign today. It’s easy and doesn’t cost a thing. Simply visit mayorswellnesscampaign.org and click on “Mayors, Sign the Mayors Wellness Campaign Pledge” on the home page. Fill in the form and you will receive information about the program and assistance from the MWC staff.
If you’ve already joined the Mayors Wellness Campaign, you know how important it is to promote wellness in your community. If you haven’t already signed the MWC pledge, there’s never been a better time to join. Please sign up today, and help your town have a healthy and happy new year!
Very truly yours,
|Hon. Arthur R. Ondish
Mayor, Mount Arlington Township
William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director, NJLM