RIVER FALLS, Wis.
Ten groups and organizations in western Wisconsin are hoping to improve their health and that of their community thanks to $30,000 in Healthy Activity Grants from Allina Health.
The grants support group activities that promote social connections and increase healthy eating and/or physical activity for adults, older adults and families.
The selected programs were chosen through a competitive application process that was open to groups that want to start or strengthen a neighborhood program, and community organizations, such as non-profits and businesses.
The successful programs receiving grants in western Wisconsin, together with the amount they were awarded, are:
- Willow River Organization for Wildlife Learning, Kinnickinnic State Park: Learn to Kayak for Beginners ($9,400)
- Westside Elementary School, River Falls: Play, Pack and Snack ($7,000)
- Sajan Inc, River Falls: Sajan Living Well – Connecting for Healthy Choices ($5,000)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern WI: Mentors in Motion ($2,500)
- Pierce County Public Health Department: Walking and Strength Training Club ($1,780)
- River Falls Parks and Rec Department: Family Pickleball and Senior Water Aerobics ($1,225)
- River Falls Moms and Dads Group: Family Yoga Classes ($1,200)
- Comforts of Home Senior Living, River Falls: Senior Wellness Program ($700)
- Sheryl Kendall, River Falls: Celiac Support Group ($500)
- Ellsworth Senior Center: Senior Walking Club ($425)
"There was a lot of interest in these grants," said Heather Logelin, director of foundation and community engagement at River Falls Area Hospital, part of Allina Health. "More than 200 applications were received from groups and organizations across Minnesota and western Wisconsin and in western Wisconsin alone, we received applications requesting funding of nearly $100,000. Clearly, there are a lot of people out there thinking about ways they can help make our communities healthier, and we are excited to partner with them to help bring their ideas to fruition."
The grants, ranging from $425 to $9,400, are part of Neighborhood Health Connection™, a community program developed by Allina Health that gives people the tools they need to create stronger connections with their neighbors, and offers fun, creative ways to make their communities healthier.
"This approach is based on more than 50 years of research that shows people with strong community connections and positive social support are healthier and happier," says Ellie Zuehlke, director of Community Benefit and Engagement for Allina Health. "By offering unique tools, support and money to fund healthy activities, we can make a difference in the health of our communities."
Visit neighborhoodhealthconnection.org to see a list of all the funded programs and to access free resources available to anyone interested forming a neighborhood group.