Wellington Takes First In Palm Health Foundation’s ‘Let’s Move’ Challenge

Wellington was well-represented at the award ceremony. (L-R) Gus Ponce, Ian Williams, Vice Mayor John McGovern, Markus Lockhart, Wil Romelus and Michelle Garvey.

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t hold back Palm Beach County residents from breaking the record for logging the highest number of physical activity minutes in the “Let’s Move!” Commit to Change Physical Activity Challenge’s nine-year history.

From all across Palm Beach County, 378 teams comprised of 1,337 individuals participated in the monthlong campaign in March, logging 59,464,582 minutes of walking, running, Zumba dancing and a variety of virtual activities to take charge of their health during the pandemic. The campaign made a remarkable comeback from the prior year, when only four million minutes were logged at the beginning of the pandemic.

Presented by the Palm Health Foundation and Digital Vibez Inc., Let’s Move invites residents to form teams and commit to exercising at least 30 minutes a day. The highly competitive campaign has teams from municipalities, county organizations and other groups all vying for top prizes, which were awarded at an April 16 awards ceremony. Hosted by the KVJ Show’s Virginia Sinicki at a live presentation at the South Florida Science Center and carried throughout the community virtually through Zoom, Digital Vibez unveiled the winning Let’s Move teams with the highest number of physical activity minutes.

The Village of Wellington was named the Let’s Move top team for 2021 with 26 million minutes logged. Other top teams included the City of Delray Beach, the City of West Palm Beach, the School District of Palm Beach County, and Palm Beach County Sports Wellness and Recreation.

Winning sub-teams, groups within a team who log minutes collectively, were Delray Beach Parks and Recreation, the Village of Wellington, Around Wellington, City of West Palm Beach Residents and VFitness Squad.

Individual Let’s Move champions were Rosa White of Boynton Beach, Frank Verney of West Palm Beach, Andrea Bruton of Delray Beach, Angela Williams of Delray Beach and Liz Nunez of Wellington.

Let’s Move awarded a special $500 grant to the community-based, youth-focused program that logged the most minutes to support their physical activity programming. The winner of the grant was Delray Beach Parks and Recreation.

Each year, Let’s Move invites community members to submit a video to support the campaign. The Florida Health Department-Palm Beach County took home the top award for their video, “Let’s Move on the Outside.” Employees created an original song and showed their dance moves to promote the benefits of physical activity on mental health and overall wellness.

Sinicki also recognized Let’s Move sponsors, including the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center, Valley Bank, Wisehaupt, Bray Asset Management and the Quantum Foundation. Wilford Romelus, founder of Digital Vibez, joined Sinicki to share a few words with attendees. “This is the campaign’s ninth year, and we could not be prouder of the amazing results,” he said. “This past year was full of unexpected challenges for everyone, but we came back stronger than ever!”

Let’s Move was first launched in 2012 by the Palm Health Foundation, Palm Beach County’s leading community foundation for health. Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2010 Let’s Move national program to decrease childhood obesity, the foundation created the local challenge for adults and children to improve a variety of health issues through regular physical activity. The challenge promotes daily exercise as a way to combat illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, and strengthen brain health and life expectancy, among other benefits.