Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Date: April 22, 2016
DOVER, DE (April 22, 2016) - Governor Jack Markell today joined representatives of the State Chamber and Plus3.com for the statewide launch of the Motivate the First State campaign to encourage Delawareans of all ages and abilities to become more physically active while supporting three nonprofit organizations. During a 2015 pilot campaign, more than 2,600 Delawareans logged their activities and generated $39,948 for the YMCA of Delaware, Boys & Girls Club of Delaware, and Special Olympics Delaware.
"Together, we can make each step and pedal stroke count for three Delaware charities," said Governor Jack Markell. "Each completed and logged activity translates into earnings that stay in state to help our kids and families, including those with special needs and limited mobility. My administration has been committed to building public-private partnerships that better our community, and I commend Plus3.Com, the Delaware State Chamber, the Department of Health and Social Services, the nonprofits - and the participants in the program."
The nucleus of the public-private partnership is its free online social network powered by Plus3.com. Participants log their daily activities, ranging from sports and other physical activities, to healthy behaviors such as drinking more water, declining desserts, and brushing teeth. Each activity earns points that are converted to charitable funding support through the Motivate the First State platform. In 2015, participants logged nearly 100,000 healthy activities and almost 3.8 million minutes of physical activity.
"This campaign allows all Delawareans, including those with special needs and limited movement, to help others by logging healthy behaviors," said Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Rita Landgraf. "That is particularly important since, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates for persons with disabilities are 58 percent higher than for adults without disabilities."
Engaging in regular moderate physical activity strengthens the heart, tones muscles, helps achieve desired weights and prevents chronic diseases. Obesity is a national epidemic and a major contributor to some of the leading causes of death in the U.S., including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
In Delaware, the percent of Delaware adults who reported obese Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) rose from 18.8 percent in 1997 to 29.9 percent in 2015. Another 36.9 Delawareans reported themselves as overweight and 1.3 percent said they were underweight, according to the Division of Public Health's (DPH) Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS), an ongoing, random-sample telephone survey of Delaware adults.
"There are many fun ways to be physically active and Motivate the First State offers the flexibility to track many different kinds of fitness," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "Tracking fitness while benefiting charity is even more motivating then tracking alone. DPH is so pleased to help sponsor this effort."
The Motivate The First State campaign is gaining momentum, and has set ambitious goals to grow the campaign and motivate more participants.
"We are excited about the results we've seen so far, but we are very eager to include more corporate partners so that we can reach more Delawareans," said Jason Danner, campaign director. "Motivate The First State is an important part of an overall strategy to improve the health of people who live and work in Delaware by making being healthier more fun."
"Too many people, families, and small businesses typically don't have access to wellness programs," said Rick Sutton, founder and chief executive officer of Plus3.com. "This addresses that need by blanketing the entire state with an inclusive program that's easy and fun for anyone to use and includes Plus3's charity-based incentives paired with fun challenges. Our goal, in partnership with Delaware, is to inspire healthy living, increase physical activity, and leverage significant contributions to select Delaware nonprofits."
During the event at the Dover YMCA on South State Street, Motivate the First State and Governor Markell recognized Top 10 individuals and teams and the nonprofits.
Comments from nonprofit partners:
"Motivate the First State expands our health initiatives from a series of single events to a steady presence in the lives of our athletes, their families, and our volunteers that includes a focus on wellness and inspiration to lead a healthy lifestyle," said Ann Grunert, Special Olympics Delaware executive director. "This partnership demonstrates that a focus on health needs to remain a priority for the Special Olympics movement."
"The Motivate the First State platform has allowed our staff and members to track their habits and encourage one another to live healthier," said James Kelly, chief operating officer of the YMCA of Delaware. "The funds generated from the campaign have gone to support our community-based programs, such as our Healthy Weight and Your Child program. The campaign is a great tool to motivate Delawareans to strive towards, and maintain their health!"
"We are honored to be a part of the Motivate the First State program. As an organization that heavily supports and promotes physical activity and overall wellness for our youth, their families and ultimately the greater community, we think it just makes sense to participate. We look forward to getting more youth and staff involved in this next cycle and supporting the Governor, the state and the other organizations involved in building a healthier Delaware" said Boys & Girls Club President/CEO George Krupanski.
For more information about Motivate The First State, contact Jason Danner, campaign director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-661-6321.
About Plus3.com Plus3 boosts the health and happiness of any sized workforce or community by linking the healthy activities of every participant to charitable donations. Affordable and easy to implement, Plus3's patent-pending approach delivers industry-leading engagement rates by combining the heartfelt motivation of charitable giving with the best aspects of friendly competition, personal rewards, and public recognition. So far, Plus3 and its corporate partners, their employees, families, and friends have moved over $1.9 million to charities worldwide.
About Delaware Health and Social Services Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.