Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Nelda Lebya Speller, 210-631-0400, email@example.com
Angie Gutierrez, 210-631-0400, firstname.lastname@example.org
SAN ANTONIO – More than 245 Bexar County employees recently completed the eight-week Walk Across Texas health and wellness activity.
Participants and coordinators marked the event with a celebration and presentation ceremony at Bexar County Commissioners Court in downtown San Antonio.
Walk Across Texas, a statewide initiative of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, challenges team participants to walk a distance equivalent to the length from the state’s farthest point west to its farthest point east – about 832 miles.
This year, Bexar County was represented by 227 people on 33 teams as well as 18 solo walkers. The Walk Across Texas event kicked off on the exterior courtyard of the Bexar County Courthouse complex.
“The Walk Across Texas initiative in Bexar County is one of the largest activities AgriLife Extension conducts in collaboration with the county,” said Nelda Lebya Speller, director for the agency’s Bexar County office. “It’s an opportunity for people to work together for the common purpose of becoming more physically fit by committing to collectively walk at least a minimum number of miles over an eight-week period.”
According to AgriLife Extension data, in 2017, more than 47,750 youth and adults representing 155 Texas counties participated in Walk Across Texas statewide.
Participants collectively logged more than 4.8 million miles, providing an economic benefit of $186 million to them and their employers in productivity, lower absenteeism and health care savings.
Angie Gutierrez, AgriLife Extension family and community health agent for Bexar County and one of the principal event coordinators, said this year’s Bexar County teams walked 43,357 miles with solo walkers contributing 774 miles.
“Combined, this made a grand total of 44,131 miles walked by this year’s Bexar County participants,” Gutierrez said. “That was an impressive showing by everyone involved.”
The Lady Bexars, with team captain Adela Bianche, took first place with 2,730 miles. The second-place team, which had Adam Menefee as its captain, was the SAFE Unit Juvenile Probation team with 2,466 miles. Third place went to the Holy Walkamolies team, captained by Sara Alonzo, which walked 2,305 miles.
The walker with the most miles was Shannon Washington, who stepped more than 731 miles.
Winning teams and individual walkers received gifts provided by AgriLife Extension, TopGolf, Alamo Drafthouse, Smoothie King, Jason’s Deli and Salata.
Presenters at the concluding celebration included Gutierrez, AgriLife Extension Leadership Advisory Board president Isabel Pruneda, AgriLife Extension health and wellness educator Erika Alaman and Bexar County wellness coordinator Angel Flores.
Thomas Guevara, chief of staff for the Office of County Manager, announced the grand total miles walked.
“Along with the kickoff and concluding celebration, we and other agencies with similar health and wellness goals also held a midway event at the Paul Elizondo Tower of the courthouse,” Speller said. “This event provided an opportunity to introduce participants and other county employees to the variety of free health and wellness resources available to them.”
Collaborating agencies at the midway event included the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation, Vision Zero, American Heart Association and SWell Cycles.
“All of the teams were excited to participate in Walk Across Texas and took advantage of the opportunity to become healthier through regular physical activity,” Flores said. “County employees committed their time to meet in the mornings or during lunch to walk their respective routes. They also used the treadmills in the county’s fitness center to complete their miles.”