CONWAY — White Mountain Community Health Center staff said the inaugural Whitaker Wander 5K, held on Saturday, May 18, at Whitaker Woods was a success. The event brought in over $6,000 in sponsorships, donations, raffle sales and registrations for the race. The kids’ fun run had five participants, and the 5K saw 56 runners and walkers cross the finish line.

“We are excited to have created an opportunity to incorporate a celebration of wellness into this new fundraiser for the health center, and are looking forward to watching it grow,” said Director of Operations Julie Hill, RN.

The health center provides primary health care regardless of ability to pay, and also offered this event on the same model. Passes for patients were available to make the event accessible at no charge. The health center encouraged staff and community members to participate in a free “Couch to 5K” training program in the months leading up to the event.

The top three female runners for the 5K were Katie Cross-Powers (24:01), Tamara Wood (24:20) and Stacy McAllister (25:47). The top three male runners were Jason Denvers (19:20), Nathan Hall (21:35) and Simon Manners (22:25). Many participants had also challenged themselves to participate in the Whitaker Wander as their first 5K running or walking.

The organization thanked its board of directors and staff, as well as numerous volunteers, for promoting, organizing and running the event. Sponsors included Alkalay & Smillie, Boxford Chimney, Carol and David Hastings, Chalmers Insurance Group, Computer Port, The Conway Daily Sun, Conway Oral Healthcare, Cooper Cargill Chant, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Crest Auto World, Edy’s Ice Cream, King Pine, Leone, McDonnell & Roberts, PA, Memorial Hospital, Milford Flooring, Napa Auto Parts of Redstone, NEEBCo, North Country Fair Jewelers, Sara Moore, Settlers Green, Silver Lake Massage Therapy, Starbucks Subway, and Zakon Group.

The Whitaker Wander 5K is just one of many ways the health center promotes health for all in Mount Washington Valley. The health center held a wellness challenge for employees during the month of January.

The challenge motivated staff members to “walk the walk’’ of the healthy habits they counsel patients about on a daily basis. Participants earned points for setting actionable personal goals to improve their health, as well as for eating five or more fist-sized servings of fruits and vegetables per day, exercising intentionally 20 minutes or more per day, drinking at least 32 ounces of water during the work day and getting at least seven hours of sleep per night.

White Mountain Community Health Center exists to ensure everyone in Mount Washington Valley can be healthy, regardless of financial situation. The wellness challenge and the Whitaker Wander 5K are designed to encourage community members to build healthy habits. Because the challenge and the Whitaker Wander 5K were so well-received by staff and community alike, the health center is looking forward to continue them as annual events.

For more information about White Mountain Community Health Center, call (603) 447-8900 or go to whitemountainhealth.org.

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