St. Croix Valley communities powered up for a week of fun

Body: 

HUDSON, Wis. — Eating better and moving more was the name of the game at PowerUp Week May 5-13.

Communities across the St. Croix Valley and western Wisconsin were inspired to take part in PowerUp festivities ranging from a Cinco de Mayo family triathlon and veggie giveaways to geocaching and celebrations to mark the fourth birthday of Chomp, the larger-than-life PowerUp superhero carrot.

A carrot cookie recipe named in honor of Chomp and dreamed up by a Hudson teen was sampled at events at Hudson Hospital & Clinic and across the St. Croix Valley during 2017 PowerUp Week. Jake Caron, now 16, loves to cook and was the winner of the last PowerUp recipe contest with his Chomp carrot cookie recipe. A 14-year-old student of Trinity Academy in Hudson at the time of the contest in 2015, Jake's passion for cooking won him first place and a basketful of cooking equipment.

There's still time to submit delicious, kid-approved fruit- and veggie-inspired recipes in the 2017 Power Chef Recipe Contest. The full details and rules are at powerup4kids.org/powerrecipecontest. Closing date is May 26.

Elsewhere in Hudson, kids and families had fun with Chomp at the PowerUp Open Gym at E.P. Rock Elementary School on Friday, May 12. On Saturday, May 13, more than 60 kids and their family members celebrated PowerUp Week by going on an animal hike through Willow River State Park. The hike was led by the Nature Center Coordinator and all children that completed the half-mile loop received a PowerUp prize.

By the end of PowerUp Week 2017 — the third annual event:

• More than 1,700 people took part in PowerUp Week activities in communities from Mahtomedi, Minn., to Amery, Wis.

• 220 children and families walked, ran and rolled in the PowerUp Family 2K in Amery and PowerUp Family Cinco de Mayo Triathlon in Stillwater, Minn.

• 225 bags of free vegetables were given away at events in Mahtomedi, Amery and Somerset

• 150 children attended Chomp's birthday party at four library celebrations in Lake Elmo, Mahtomedi, Amery and Somerset

• 185 people moved and grooved at five dance parties and open gym events in Hudson, Amery, Somerset and Stillwater

"PowerUp Week is a special week for everyone to celebrate with fun ways to eat better, move more and create strong, healthy communities," said Marna Canterbury, director of community health at Lakeview Hospital. "I was thrilled to see the energy and excitement at the activities this year and hope that people will be inspired to continue finding fun ways to be active and eat well throughout the year."

PowerUp is a community-wide initiative to make it easy, fun and popular to eat better and move more so that kids can grow up healthy. PowerUp works in partnership with schools, businesses, health care, civic groups and families.