A local mayor was among a record number from Idaho who tracked their footsteps during the month of October in order to try to earn $1,000 for their respective cities.
Weiser Mayor Randy Hibberd was among the 81 who registered and 76 who succeeded in reaching the monthly step goal for Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation.
“I had to average 5,000 steps a day,” he said, a goal he exceeded by 50% or more, reaching the average by Oct. 20.
Hibberd who is “normally a bike rider instead of a walker,” says it wasn’t hard for him to get those extra steps.
“By being conscious of it mainly, but I also took walks through town. And one thing I was looking at was places where we need to improve our sidewalks,” he said. “One thing I am trying to figure out is how to develop our sidewalks so that more people in town can walk.”
According to Blue Cross, mayors can designate the funds for COVID-19 relief efforts or for programs, projects or equipment that encourage kids to be active.
“Physical activity and access to healthy foods are two key factors in keeping kids healthy in a time when one in three Idaho children are either overweight or obese,” reads a release.
Hibberd is leaning toward healthy activities with his funds.
“I am going to be donating it to the Weiser Memorial Hospital Foundation,” he said. “They are in the process of raising funds to put outdoor exercise equipment in one of our parks. They are about half-way there. They are slated to begin working on that in the spring.”
The Weiser City Council has given permission for the hospital to work with the parks on where to put the equipment, Hibberd said, which will be located at Weiser City Park, next to the courthouse and police department.
“I’ve been involved with the hospital for quite some time. First as a foundation member, then as board member,” he said. “And I’ve come to realize how important community health is, and I believe in leading by doing and setting an example. So this opportunity came along for the Mayors Challenge, and I took them up on it.”
“We thank all of the mayors who participated and congratulate those who set great examples for their communities by walking,” said Kendra Witt-Doyle, Executive Director, Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. “We appreciate the commitment of Idaho mayors who want their communities to be healthier for everyone.”
“I think it was great that Blue Cross provided this opportunity,” Hibberd said. “And I’m glad to be able to put it toward something that other people had already started as a great community project.”