Mayor's Health and Fitness Awards presented in Columbia

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 | 10:12 p.m. CDT; updated 10:18 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 5, 2009

COLUMBIA — The Mayor's Health and Fitness Awards are presented to Columbia citizens who have made significant health or fitness changes in their lives or the lives of others.

The awards are given in four categories fitness, weight loss, mentoring and smoking cessation.

Fitness winners:

  • Boone County Minority Health Network was recognized promoting activities that are intended to enhance the skills, knowledge and abilities of minorities of all ages and socioeconomic status to achieve optimal health.
  • Chris Miller was also recognized for his commitment to fitness.  When he is not coaching high school soccer, he is busy biking, running and cycling while changing his eating habits to fully achieve his health goal.
  • Bryan Sappinton received the fitness award for his involvement with Columbia College intramurals. He also runs marathons.

Weight loss winners:

  • Jill Diener was recognized for losing 70 pounds by changing her lifestyle and increasing her fitness level.
  • Kathy Peters was awarded the weight loss award. Kathy lost 150 pounds in just less than two years. She had decided in June of 2007 to embark on a healthier lifestyle that included proper portions and nutrition as well as fitness through dedication to daily exercise.
  • Sean Powers was also given the weight loss award for the 100 pounds he has lost since the fall of 2007 when he started working out as a Columbia College student.
  • April Rodeghero has lost over 80 pounds while attending Weight Watchers and buying fresh and healthy foods from local markets.

Mentor awards:

  • Nicole Pele was recognized for motivating herself, as well as other people, to work out. She has also coached non-swimmers and now teaches and mentors for triathlons and organizes bike rides.
  • Steve Stonecipher received the mentor award because he placed 37th in the Boston Marathon and for his involvement in local running events.
  • Alvin Sweezer, the lead custodian at Fairview Elementary, rides his bike to and from school and volunteers to make children safe on their bikes.
  • Annie Taylor was recognized for the time she's spent teaching children the components of fitness and health as a physical education teacher in the Columbia Public Schools. Since 2003, Annie has helped 125 people develop exercise programs for weight loss, fitness and health.

Smoking cessation award:

Sarah Wells was coughing so badly from smoking she injured her back. After realizing she needed to change, she started doing back exercises and running regularly. She now runs four miles a day and recently ran in the St. Patrick’s Day 5k run. Wells has plans for a half and full marathon in her future.


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