Emo on the lookout for ‘biggest loser’ Also proposes to challenge Rainy River

The Township of Emo and the Emo Chamber of Commerce are looking for some big losers.
The idea came about when a group of local business leaders were discussing over the holidays how people tend to be lethargic and sometimes depressed after the Christmas hoopla, which sometimes results in unwanted weight gain.
“At this time of year people are hibernating, they aren’t doing anything,” lamented Margaret Heyens, co-owner of The Corner Closet in Emo.
“We wanted to get the community active, to get with the times and change their lifestyles,” she added. “It’s getting to be a concern.”
So much of a concern, in fact, that the Northwestern Health Unit gave the idea two thumbs up—and also has offered advice and encouragement.
Heyens’ business partner, Colleen Vennechenko, is president of the Emo Chamber of Commerce. As such, she’s trying to bring the business community into the act, as well.
“I am looking for support from our local Chamber members to help promote a healthy lifestyle,” Vennechenko said in a recent newsletter.
“As the new year approached, many new year’s wishes were made to lose weight, so I wanted our residents to challenge their spouses, next-door neighbours, and friends to see if they can lose the most weight over a period of 11 weeks, starting Feb. 1 and crowning the champion during Spring Fever Days.
“This could become an annual event.”
Heyens said the idea originally came from a popular television reality show, in which a group of people are competing to lose the most weight over a given time period, with the winner receiving the grand prize of $1 million.
Of course, this campaign is somewhat more modest.
“We’re planning on an entry fee of around $10, with a grand prize going to the winner,” Heyens noted. “We’re also going to have smaller prizes for individuals and groups, donated by local businesses.”
Vennechenko proposed having a weekly weigh-in so people can chart their progress. In addition, the Northwestern Health Unit has agreed to provide nutritional advice.
“We don’t want people to diet, we want people to eat healthy,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, Donald Young School has made its gym available on Monday and Thursday evenings. Monday’s activity will be aerobics classes while Thursday will dedicated to line dancing.
The payoff, said Vennechenko, is not only will people feel better, they will look better, too. She pointed out that with women, every 10 pounds of weight lost equals one dress size.
“This is going to be fun,” she enthused.
Heyens said she would like to see some spirited competition arise—family against family and business against business. But the Township of Emo has taken that one step further.
At its regular council meeting last Thursday, Reeve Russ Fortier proposed challenging the Town of Rainy River to see which community can lose the most weight.
Since both communities have roughly the same population, Reeve Fortier felt it would be a fair competition—and a healthy one at that.
“I think it’s important to all of us to try and live healthy lifestyles,” he remarked. “For one thing, it will help take pressure off the medical system.”
The idea was raised at the monthly Chamber of Commerce meeting on Monday, and posters and registrations will be available shortly.
In addition to Vennechenko and Heyens, the “Biggest Loser” committee consists of Carrie Baker, Geoff Pearce, and Evie Hartlin. Contact any one of these people for more information.

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