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$12,567.37 Raised for Local Children’s Non Profit through Fitness Challenge

June 13, 2016
100 Miles in May

May has come and gone, and the annual 100 Miles in May challenge has wrapped up. This year 16 architectural, engineering and construction (A/E/C) firms participated, raising a total of $12,567.37 to benefit Healthy Futures, a local non-profit that promotes a healthy lifestyle for Alaska’s youth.

100 Miles in May is an annual wellness challenge R&M Consultants, Inc. (R&M) issues to their employees, competitors and clients. Employees are challenged to log 100 miles during the month. Using a conversion chart, employees log miles through a variety of activities, including walking, running, biking, softball, yardwork and more. For every mile logged, R&M donates $0.25 to Healthy Futures. Each participating firm also pledges to donate a certain amount for each mile logged by their employees.

Over the last two years, the companies and agencies participating in the challenge logged more than 68,000 miles and raised nearly $14,000 for Healthy Futures. This year, 65,210.55 miles were logged throughout the month by the participating firms. HDL Engineering Consultants took first place with 62 participants and 10,605.39 miles logged.

The mission of Healthy Futures is simple – to empower Alaska’s youth to build the habit of daily physical activity through two core programs: the Healthy Futures Activity Log and increasing youth attendance at recreational events. In addition, Healthy Futures provides youth with access to positive, physically active role models through their partnership with the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, the collaborative literary publication Healthy Heroes, and classroom/event participation by local celebrity athletes such as Olympians Kikkan Randall and Holly Brooks.

“The money raised through 100 Miles in May is a great support for our programs, but another important aspect of the challenge is that it engages adults in our cause as role models. Mentorship is the most powerful form of support,” says Harlow Robinson, Executive Director of Healthy Futures.

The challenge started in 2010, when an employee of R&M invited others at the firm to log 100 miles in the month of May to support a connection in the military that had to log 100 miles during the month to advance in rank. The purpose of the challenge was to not only provide support, but provide a push to get moving and encourage those that aren’t typically very active to participate.

“We have people every year participating and finishing this challenge never ran a whole mile in their life before. People are nervous and intimidated because they think ‘there is no way I can do this,’ but then go for it anyway! That’s what this challenge is all about, inspiring people that would normally have never considered a fitness challenge to just do it. It’s cool to know in some small way this challenge is making a difference and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.” says Linnzi Doerr, R&M’s Accounting Supervisor and founder of the 100 Miles in May Challenge.

In 2013, R&M decided to use our 100 Miles in May Challenge as a way to benefit Healthy Futures, an Alaska-based statewide grassroots initiative founded in 2003 by two parents – the late Bonny Sosa Young and her husband, Sam Young. Bonny and Sam were concerned about the growing obesity epidemic in Alaska and felt if they stood by doing nothing, they were part of the problem versus part of the solution. That year, R&M invited other firms in the industry to participate. 11 firms participated the first year, logging more than 28,000 miles and raising nearly $6,000 for Healthy Futures.

Pledges from the challenge go straight into Healthy Futures programs, including the elementary and middle school Healthy Futures Challenge (where children and schools track their physical activity and are rewarded for reaching goals) and their event support program, which assists more than 115 events that promote healthy youth activity across the state. The funding helps the organization to maintain these programs and work on further developing their middle school programs.

“With the current challenges facing nonprofit organizations in Alaska due to the decreased oil prices, we tremendously appreciate and value the support of individuals and local businesses. I can’t express how grateful I am, especially to R&M Consultants for agreeing to partner with Healthy Futures on the 100 Miles in May!” says Robinson.

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