A new community partnership, UNITE, is aiming to reduce heart attacks in the Platteville area.
The group is launching their ongoing efforts with a fun-filled community-wide challenge to walk 100 miles in 100 days.
The 100 Mile Challenge will begin with a kickoff event at the Platteville Community Arboretum trail head in Katie’s Garden on West Business 151 Friday, May 1 at 5 p.m. with music, prizes and free T-shirts. The event is free, organizers say, as are the T-shirts for registered participants and the prizes they’ll be eligible for along the way.
Approximately every 10 days throughout the challenge, UNITE will be offering organized walk events, culminating in a grand finale celebration at the conclusion of the 100 days Saturday, Aug. 8.
“Many of us spend most of our energy and our time caring for other people in our lives,” said UNITE team member Jaime Collins. “This community challenge encourages all of us to take time for ourselves, so we can be there for others well into the future.
“People already understand healthy living includes eating well and exercising. We didn’t create UNITE to tell people what they already know. We’re building an enduring community partnership to help provide the support people need to truly make healthier living a reality in their busy lives. Our 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge is a simple beginning to what we hope will be a community-wide movement.”
Collins said everyone is not only encouraged to join the Challenge but also encouraged to support others in joining, too.
Registration is free with an online form at uniteplatteville.org/100miles. Those interested in learning more about UNITE or the 100 Mile Challenge can visit the website or call Collins, 342-4779.
UNITE (Unified Neighbors Improving Their Environment) is a group of engaged people working together for positive change in the Platteville area. The collaboration seeks to empower people to shape their own futures, thereby strengthening the community’s collective physical, social, and economic well being. Individuals and businesses involved with UNITE are partnering to improve aspects of life in the area, beginning with improving community health focused on reducing heart attacks.
UNITE’s active partners include Southwest Health, UW–Platteville, the Grant County Health Department, the Southwest Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, the City of Platteville, the Platteville Regional Chamber, and the Platteville Public Library. Sponsors who are making the 100 Mile Challenge possible with their financial support include The Platteville Journal, Southwest Health, Clarity Clinic, Morrissey Printing, QueenB Radio, and Larry Bierke. Collins said additional support is still coming in and still needed.
UNITE is the next step in an effort begun in 2010, My Community — My Vision, that sought to improve Platteville in six areas — promoting the environment; improving pedestrian access through sidewalks, paths and trails; creating a community center; creating a Main Street retail “idea center”; creating an annual regional festival; and improving communication in Platteville.
Since then, a steering committee and three subgroups have been formed to focus on three areas — health and wellness; socioeconomic issues; and unity, diversity and communication. UNITE’s three groups are charged with setting a group goal for each area, identifying specific problems and root causes, and prioritizing potential steps forward to make measurable progress on long-term community issues.