The numbers are in! Emmetsburg had more than 670 people participate in the "Start Somewhere Walk" last Friday.
Walkers met downtown at the parking lot near Fareway and made their way down Broadway to Soper Park near the shore of Five Island Lake.
The walkers totaled 170 when students from Emmetsburg Catholic School joined the group. Students walked from the school and joined the group walking to Soper Park. They took a break in the park before going back to school.
One group walked through the downtown to Soper Park by Five Island Lake and returned to the Fareway store. The walk was the kick-off for Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative. --Jane Whitmore photo
Emmetsburg Middle School and West Elementary School students also participated in the walk. An estimated 100 fifth and sixth grade students from Emmetsburg Middle School walked on the track and another 325 students walked at West Elementary School.
A group of 45 walked from the Smith Wellness Center and another group of 30 walked at Palo Alto County Hospital.
The weather was warm, which helped draw people to the walk. The return trip from Soper Park was walking into the wind, but all of the participants walked the entire one-kilometer.
Emmetsburg was just one location in the state to participate in the Start Somewhere Walk.
Statewide, more than 291,000 Iowans voted with their feet in favor of the new Healthiest State Initiative by participating in the Start Somewhere Walks held across Iowa on Friday.
"In more than 2,300 group walks and thousands of individual walks, Iowans said 'yes' to starting our journey to becoming the healthiest state in the nation," said Governor Terry Branstad, who announced the Healthiest State Initiative in August. "It was a remarkable display of energy as Iowans came together to 'start somewhere' in reaching this ambitious goal."
Start Somewhere Walks were held in each of Iowa's 99 counties, including one led by Governor Branstad around the State Capitol complex.
As the name suggests, the Start Somewhere Walks are a symbolic beginning of the Healthiest State Initiative. This is a long-term effort to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. So, it's up to each and every person to keep the momentum rolling.
State organizers remind everyone to keep their eyes and ears open for future Healthiest State Initiative programs. Remember, we control 70 percent of the factors influencing our health, so it's largely within our power to make a positive difference in our lives.