The Let’s Move Blaine! Initiative passed by the Blaine City Council in September 2011 has gained significant ground through the formation of the Let’s Move, Blaine! (LMB) Coalition.
The LMB Coalition is made up of city, school district, community organizations and other community individuals collaborating
to make progress under the initiative’s four pillars to reduce childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles:
Pillar 1: Provide parents and caregivers the tools they need to make healthy choices in early childhood.
Pillar 2: Improve nutrition in schools.
Pillar 3: Increase physical activity opportunities.
Pillar 4: Make healthy food more affordable and accessible.
Since December 2011 the LMB Coalition has met nine times to discuss, develop and initiate various programs based on the “4 Pillars” to support the coalition’s mission statement: The Let’s Move, Blaine! Coalition is an active participant in combating childhood obesity locally by linking community resources with schools and families.
In backing of LMB efforts many local community sponsors have provided financial support during 2012 to help implement various programs in support of our mission statement, and additionally, our vision statement: Decrease childhood obesity within a generation by promoting healthy lifestyles.
During 2012, LMB Coalition, in co-partnership with the Bellevue-based non-profit organization The Hope Heart Institute (hopeheart.org) was able to secure two grants working with the Bellingham Farm-to-Schools program and the Whatcom Community Foundation.
The first grant allowed for Blaine Elementary School to host the Health, Math, and Literacy Family Fun Night in June where 67 families came together for a healthy local-fresh dinner, and an opportunity to meet and greet various local farmers and vendors related to leading a healthy and active lifestyle.
The second larger grant has provided an opportunity for Blaine Elementary School to host three additional “Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies” evening dinners and activities over the course of the 2012-2013 school year, with the first being held this last October.
The second “Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies” evening dinner is scheduled for March 27 at Blaine Elementary School with the focus on helping educate and promote having healthy local food served at school and at home.
The third “Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies” evening dinner is scheduled for May.
In addition, the LMB Coalition piloted the “Passport to Summer Fun Challenge” for Blaine Elementary students to promote physical activity during the summer. Students returned their passports in September to receive pedometers, and one of the participants received a 2013 summer pass to the Birch Bay Waterslides.
Students at both Blaine elementary and primary schools can again look forward to 2013 with another “Passport to Summer Fun Challenge” sponsored by local businesses and community programs of Birch Bay and Blaine.
With support of the Blaine Chamber of Commerce the annual Run to the Border Fun Run held in conjunction with Drayton
Harbor Days, and the newer Holiday Lights Dash One-Mile Fun Run in December were and are geared to provide family fun and active community participation while supporting the LMB efforts as direct fundraisers.
As the LMB Coalition looks to 2013 we see a lot of new and exciting opportunities and partnerships coming to fruition such as our current work with the city of Blaine and Semiahmoo Resort Association forming our first of many walking loop projects.
Our next walking loop project for 2013 will focus on a location within the Birch Bay community. We have also been working with the Blaine Boys and Girls Club and Bellingham Farm-to-Schools program to implement a Youth-Led Farmers Market slated for the spring growing season.
Additionally, LMB is coordinating with the Whatcom Health Department in providing drop-off locations for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares in both the Birch Bay and Blaine communities to help provide affordable and fresh food to the community.
In cooperation with Blaine Elementary School, The Hope Heart Institute looks forward in 2013 to implementing the “Kids Take Heart Program,” an after-school program designed to equip children in third, fourth and fifth grades to make lifestyle choices that lessen the likelihood of chronic disease.
Overall the Let’s Move, Blaine! Coalition has developed significant partnerships and has benefited from a variety of financial sponsorships to move forward with a multiplicity of projects supporting the initiative’s four pillars geared towards eliminating childhood obesity within our community.