Auburn Hills, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and 130 third and fourth graders from Shrine Catholic Grade School kicked off his 8th annual Count Your Steps event at The Palace of Auburn Hills today. Detroit Pistons mascot Hooper joined Patterson and the kids to participate in a wide variety of activities including jump roping, hula hooping, dancing with Automotion, and a walk around The Palace concourse.
"Count Your Steps continues to be a great success," said Patterson, who founded Count Your Steps in 2004 to tackle the growing rates of childhood obesity. "It encourages kids and even their families to adopt active and healthy lifestyles."
Nearly 18,000 students from more than 138 schools have registered to participate in the Count Your Steps program this year which will run from March 1st – 31st. They will use pedometers to log the number of steps they take in one month. Kids will also keep track of the fruits and vegetables they eat. The top three schools and their students will be recognized in a special ceremony later this spring.
Shrine's third and fourth graders walked a total of 52,180,834 steps last year to take the first place slot. In total, students participating in last year's Count Your Steps program walked more than 1.1 billion steps. Since the program’s inception, more than 156,000 third and fourth grade students have logged a total of 15 billion steps or more than 300 times around the Earth.
Program sponsors include PNC Bank; AT&T; The Brooksie Way Half Marathon and 5k Race; POH Medical Center; HealthPlus; Health Alliance Plan (HAP); Oakland County Parks and Recreation; The Detroit Zoo; St. Joseph Mercy Hospital – Oakland; Medical Network One; Oakland County Health Division; and Star EMS.
For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at (248) 858-1048.