It’s official; the Town of Prosper can call itself the healthiest small community in the state, following the release of final results in the “IT’S TIME TEXAS Community Challenge” campaign, says Town Secretary/PIO Robyn Battle.
“The three-month competition, put on by a broad coalition of statewide health providers and private companies, challenged cities and towns to ignite healthy habits in their residents,” she said. “Mayor Ray Smith immediately accepted the challenge and the race was on!”
Categorized by population size, Prosper was placed in the “small” grouping, even though that category’s upper limit was 40,000 residents, over twice Prosper’s current size.
“Our Parks and Recreation and Human Resources staff took on the challenge head-on,” she said. “By using every means available to them, they first got Town employees involved. Then, individual schools as well as the school district, churches, businesses, organizations, the Chamber of Commerce, Lions and Rotary Clubs and families were all encouraged to join in.”
The contest was set up as a way for communities to self-identify as healthy by individually registering on the challenge website and posting evidence of their good eating habits, wellness activities, weight loss and other health-inducing activities. Challenge points were awarded for each posting on the website.
Winning cities in each of the five categories were to receive a $1,200 grant for school-based health initiatives, a trophy and a banner.
The Mayor took a personal interest in the competition, taping a video, challenging and encouraging residents to join him in the campaign. “Mayor Smith declared that we were not going for a participation trophy, but for the championship trophy,” said Battle. “That became the Town’s battle-cry and motivation.“
Prosper’s 439,120 points were almost 90,000 more than the second place city, and would have placed it fifth overall in the top 25 cities in all categories, outpacing all but two metro areas with up to a million in population.
“We’re very proud of our residents and the Town employees who helped put us over the top,” she said. “Now, we have to maintain those good habits in nutrition and exercise.”
The trophy presentation is scheduled for May 13 at the state capitol. Final results are available at www.ittcommunitychallenge.org.