For Immediate Release
September 12, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Governor Brownback to Honor Kansas Health Champions at State Fair

Governor Sam Brownback is scheduled to recognize the 2011 Kansas Health Champion Award recipients at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson on Thursday, Sept. 15.  This year’s Health Champions are Richard Schodorf of Wichita and the faculty, students and staff of Fowler Elementary School. The recognition will be held at 2 p.m. in the Corporate Tent by the Encampment Building.

The Health Champion Award was developed by the Governor’s Council on Fitness to recognize and promote exemplary contributions to fitness in Kansas. Eligible nominees included individuals and organizations such as volunteers, schools, communities, employers, media organizations and policy makers who go above and beyond what is expected through normal job or organizational responsibilities related to modeling, encouraging, and promoting fitness. 

The Individual Champion, Richard Schodorf, is President of Sunflower Title Services, LLC, Wichita. He has led the design, funding, implementation, promotion and upkeep of Walking Trails with Kansas-based Themes. These 11 walking trails in Sedgwick County, totaling 19.2 miles in length, are open to everyone. The trails shine a spotlight on the influencers and heroes of Kansas, providing a fun, informative and interactive venue for physical activity. Trail themes include Art, Sports, Poets, African American, American Indian and Exploration, and this summer there was special trail-side entertainment to celebrate Kansas’ Sesquicentennial. 

The Organizational Champion is Fowler Elementary School  in Fowler, Kan. Fowler Elementary, with a student population of 92, was the first school in Kansas to meet the Gold Award criteria for the HealthierUS School Challenge. These criteria involve offering healthier school lunches, limiting availability of unhealthy foods, helping students learn more about nutrition and how to make healthier choices and providing the recommended level of physical education and activity opportunities to all students. The school administration has implemented programs to support healthier lifestyles not only for students, but also for staff and the entire community. For example, they have started a walking club, and their wellness facility is open to all community members 24 hours a day.

The Governor’s Council on Fitness advises the Governor and others on ways to enhance the health of all Kansans through promotion of physical activity, good dietary choices and prevention of tobacco use. For more information go to www.kansasfitness.org.