Streets Alive! was established in 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska by the Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln and was held on 9/25/11. B&R Stores was the only retail grocery sponsor for this important inaugural community event. This event was the first time ever that residents of Lincoln had access to a 3.26 mile loop of streets and trails that were completely closed to motorized vehicles. This provided an opportunity for residents to walk, hike, skate or utilize other means of human-powered transportation to bring the streets alive and promote Lincoln's commitment to healthy, active lifestyles and activities. Because of the success of the event, it was held again in 2012 on 9/9/2012. B&R was once again a sponsor.
B&R has been a significant sponsor, supporter, exhibitor and contributor to the Streets Alive! project. As a food retailer, we are committed to partnering with the agency to provide healthy food choices at the event free of charge, but also to promote overall health & wellness. Our Health & Wellness Coordinator Lynn Friesen arranged for healthy foods like salads, bananas, apples, granola bars, trail mix, Craisins and water to be distributed to participants by our employees for them to enjoy during the festivities. In addition to providing healthy food, B&R also promoted this community event through various outlets including our store intercom message systems, in our weekly print ads, on the company website, and on Facebook. Over 20 B&R associates (and their children!) volunteered of their time each of the two years, working throughout the day to provide healthy snacks to over 3,000 participants in 2011, and more than 5,000 participants in 2012.
Streets Alive! is about getting large numbers of people to be physically active, improving individual and public health and embracing Lincoln's public spaces in ways that promote physical activity and community engagement. It is about connecting neighborhoods and people; walkers, runners, bicyclists, seniors, adults & children - all enjoying a more than 3 mile route filled with physical activity, healthy food, health information, music and entertainment.
What makes an event like Streets Alive! have a positive impact on the community is the involvement of community leaders and businesses coming together to show our commitment and support in the ongoing process to improve the health of the residents of the city of Lincoln. In 2012, 100 businesses lined the route and reached more than 5,000 residents. Participation nearly doubled in 2012. Even though the event closes down neighborhood streets and business access, the event has created such a positive experience that many more neighborhoods have asked to be added to the route.
Pat Raybould, President of B&R Stores said, "As a locally owned food retailer, we are proud to support Streets Alive! through donations of product and time. We know that our role as the retailer is essential in health and wellness education for consumers and we are committed to this endeavor. While more than 20 of our employees helped out each year, dozens more took to the streets and trails to take advantage of the physical activity and fun. Both our volunteers and participants look forward to this event in 2013."
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