Healthy Orleans fits 42 with discounted sneakers
ALBION – Fleet Feet staff were at the Albion Free Methodist Church on Wednesday to fit people for new pairs of sneakers, including Marie Snyder, front right.
The Albion Running Club is teaming with the Orleans County Health Department in a 16-week “Healthy Orleans” program. The goal a goal to help 40 people become healthier by losing weight and embracing healthier choices, including more nutritious meals.
The Orleans County Health Department received a $15,000 grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The organization (NACCHO) is looking to fund community-based initiatives that promote heathy activities, sustainability and resiliency, said Paul Pettit, health department director in both Orleans and Genesee counties.
Participants in the program pay about $20 towards the pair of shoes (the price varies depending on a participants Body Mass Index, with more obese people paying less). The grant covers $80 towards the cost of the shoes. Fleet Fit sneakers cost an average of $125 to $130. The business provided discounts for about $25 to $30 per shoe.
“Boots” Boutillier, co-owner of Fleet Feet with his wife Ellen, said Fleet Feet does shoe fittings for many businesses in the Rochester area as companies try to promote fitness for employees.
“We’ll go where the people are as opposed to them coming to us,” Boutillier said.
Fleet Feet fitted about 100 people for sneakers last year in the Running Club’s “Fit in 50” program.
This year’s Healthy Orleans effort is a 16-week program versus 50 weeks. The participants meet for a group run/walk at 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Free Methodist Church. They are also encouraged to do at least two other runs/walks during the week, said Brian Krieger, executive director of the Albion Running Club.
The Healthy Orleans program included a grant for 40 shoes. Krieger said those slots filled up quickly and the Running Club used its own funds to pay towards shoes for two other participants.
Krieger said he was pleased to see participants from all over the county, not just from the Albion area.
The 16-week program will culminate with participants completing a 5-kilometer walk/run on Oct. 8 at the Memory Walk and Cross Country Run at Brown’s Berry Patch in Carlton.
Randy LeBaron, pastor of the Free Methodist Church, gets fitted for a pair of sneakers by Pat Wilson, an employee with Fleet Feet and also pastor of the Oakfield-Alabama Baptist Church.
LeBaron said he enrolled in Healthy Orleans to exercise more and eat better.
If people complete the 16-week program, they have their choice for another pair of discounted shoes or a Fitbit activity tracker.