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Macleod wins Winter Walk Day challenge

Allison Pike

Alberta Motor Association School Safety Patrol regional co-ordinator Allison Pike presented a $500 cheque Wednesday for Fort Macleod Family and Community Support Services director Angie O'Connor. The money goes to Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre for recreation subsidies.

A Fort Macleod organization dedicated to children has an additional $500 for recreation subsidies thanks to people who laced up their shoes Feb. 9.
Fort Macleod placed first in its category on Winter Walk Day to win the $500 AMA Challenge Award, with the money going to Kids First Family Centre.
“We’re pleased that everybody walked so hard to get this money for that great program,” said Angie O’Connor, director of Fort Macleod Family and Community Services, which co-ordinated the local Winter Walk Day.
Alberta Motor Association School Safety Patrol regional co-ordinator Allison Pike presented the $500 cheque March 8.
Rosemary, Fort Macleod, Ponoka, Leduc and Calgary were winners of the AMA Challenge in their respective population categories.
Pike said Fort Macleod’s effort, which involved 601 people logging 86,632 minutes of activity, was impressive.
“We like to see that the whole community was involved,” Pike said.
Participation in Winter Walk Day in Fort Macleod was recorded by individuals, the adult walking group, seniors’ homes and schools.
“It was a real community affair,” Pike said.
O’Connor agreed.
“Our community just walked and walked and they called in to register,” O’Connor said.
More than 100,000 Albertans logged 2.3-million minutes for Winter Walk Day, an annual event encouraging people to walk for a minimum of 15 minutes outdoors.
“I’m very pleased that so many Albertans stepped up and made the time to participate in Winter Walk Day,” Tourism, Parks and Recreation Minister Cindy Ady said in a news release. “Even 15 minutes of walking can make a difference to our overall health and well-being, and I encourage all Albertans to do what they can to stay active year round.”
Numbers are still coming in but so far, 413 schools, 93 workplaces and 125 community groups throughout Alberta stepped up for Winter Walk Day, with some groups issuing challenges to encourage others to get active.
This year, more than 3,300 Alberta government employees took part in the challenge.
“We are so thrilled with the response from Albertans in helping us exceed our goal of 100,000 participants this year,” Winter Walk Day provincial co-ordinator Bev Esslinger said in a news release. “We heard from many groups who were eager to spread the message about Winter Walk Day, and for the opportunity to go outside and enjoy a walk with family and colleagues.”
Studies have shown that accumulating even small amounts of exercise throughout the day can have a positive effect on overall health.
For more information about Winter Walk Day, the AMA Challenge awards or to view photos from various events throughout the province, visit