Lawmakers walk to win $12,000 for local schools

The challenge is over for 54 lawmakers, who walked nearly 13 million steps during February and tracked their physical activity for the Steps for Schools program.Steps Challenge

On Wednesday,Rep. Steve Harris, R-Meridian, was named the winner of the challenge after he walked 357 miles and earned $3,000 to give to an elementary school of his choice.

Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello, placed second and won a $2,000 check and Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, came in third place and won a $1,000 check.

The schools that will be receiving money are: Mary McPherson Elementary School in Meridian, Jefferson Elementary School in Pocatello and Lowell Elementary School in Boise. The money will be used for fitness equipment or other opportunities to promote health.

“In the evenings, I was walking on the treadmill while watching TV to get in extra steps,” Harris said. “I selected Mary McPherson Elementary because my kids went there and the students exercise on a track daily.”

In addition to the top three winners, 17 legislatures who achieved an average of 10,000 steps per day received a $350 check to donate to a school in their district.

The Steps for Schools program was hosted by the High Five Children’s Health Collaborative powered by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation. Participating legislators made a commitment to get active, eat healthier and learn about the current status of childhood health in Idaho.

“The money going to the schools is to improving the health and wellness of our children,” said Charlene Maher, the CEO of Blue Cross of Idaho. “Lawmakers are showing their districts that promoting health in Idaho is a priority.”