Donna White

The eight week walking program aimed at increasing physical fitness among both youth and adults ended last month and all results are in! Walk Across Texas targets families, schools, worksites, neighborhoods, churches, and clubs with a friendly competition that helps participants make long-term changes in their behavior. Some of the economic impact resulting from the Walk Across Texas program includes:

ü reduced health care costs associated with lowering the risks of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer.

ü the value of avoiding lost productivity and wages.

Erath County had a phenomenal year, boasting 61 community teams with eight members each. All school districts in Erath County participated with at least their 4th grade class. Some schools included more grades. Businesses participating were: St. Gobain, Harris Methodist Erath County Hospital, Town and Country Bank, Stephenville Public Library, Ranger College, and Roesler’s Allstate. In addition, Texas A&M Research and Extension Center, the District Clerk’s Office, the County Extension Office, Clairette Extension Education Club, Stephenville 4-H Club, and teachers from Huckabay ISD participated. Other individual community teams also participated. School Districts encouraging this program were Stephenville, Huckabay, Three Way, Bluff Dale, Morgan Mill, Lingleville, and Dublin.

Total miles walked for all community teams combined was 80,573.29 miles! The top five teams and members were:

Tornadoes (St. Gobain) - 3,403 miles. Team members: Diana Lewis, Bertha Odom, Serena Wright, Robert Odom, Mary Chaney, Mickey Garcia, Peggy Fron, Gilbert Aguilar.

Wild Walkers (St. Gobain) - 3,056 miles. Team members: Donna Meador, Oak McMullin, Sherrie Booth, Chris Farrar, Donnie Stein, Woody Scitern, Alesia Woods, and Christina Moreno.

The A Team (St. Gobain) - 2,988 miles. Team members: Jennifer Hunting, Joshua Phelps, Tasha Rush, Angela Dunn, Ellie Morris, Evie Mendoza, Jamie Hernandez, and Christina Duran.

Skooterz (St. Gobain) - 2,717 miles. Team members: Diane Sides, Sarah Graham, Robbi Reneay, Bonnie Prater, Peggy Wheeler, Aaron Hungerford, Larry Acker, and Alvaro Salazar.

Road Rippers (St. Gobain) - 2,465 miles. Team members: Jessica George, Stormy Sanchez, Roberta Mees, Mary Caylor, Chris Gerharot, Carl Landes, Jason Swinney, and Janie Files.

The school teams in Erath County walked a total of 14,174.57 miles!

Stephenville (Hook Elementary 4th Grade) - 8809 miles

Bluff Dale - 1939 miles

Dublin Intermediate - 1204 miles

Huckabay - 1022 miles

Lingleville - 803 miles

Three Way - 392 miles

Other than the overall health benefits from walking, April Rich from St. Gobain’s Disc Team said that Walk Across Texas, "Gave me more time walking with my kids." When asked what she liked most about Walk Across Texas, Sheri Eddy from St. Gobain’s Sweaty Arm Pits Team wrote, "being part of a motivated team and a team captain that kept it fun." Many team members stated that the competition and accountability were reasons they liked this program. Others also said that their stress levels were greatly reduced as a result of Walk Across Texas.

Walk Across Texas is an ongoing program. If you are interested in participating, please call Donna White at 965-1460 or e-mail d-white@tamu.edu. Check out the Walk Across Texas website at http://walkacrosstexas.tamu.edu.