Walking track ribbon cutting set for Tuesday

A new one-mile loop walking track at Mississippi State's Chadwick Lake will open during an official ceremony on Tuesday [Oct. 15] with university and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation representatives cutting the ribbon.

A "pumpkin walk" will follow the 10 a.m. ceremony, with the first 100 walkers to finish the loop receiving free pumpkins. Recorded music by the Famous Maroon Band will accompany walkers. The location will be to the right of the Bryan Athletic Administration Building, and in case of rain will move inside.

Speakers for the event include MSU President Mark E. Keenum; Bill Kibler, vice president of student affairs; Michael Hogan, student association president; Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman; and Sheila Grogan, executive director of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, which provided the track's grant funding.

The event also will celebrate Starkville's recent designation by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation as the Healthiest Hometown with 15,000 or more residents. The local community gained the designation in 2011 as Mississippi's Healthiest Hometown.

"We are excited to have this walking track open to faculty, staff, students and the community," said Joyce Yates, director of health education and wellness in the Division of Student Affairs.

The $562,485 grant allowed for construction of the walking track around the lake behind the Joe Frank Sanderson Center. Additionally, the grant provided a mobile kitchen unit for cooking and nutrition demonstrations, and it funded free health screenings for more than 1,500 participants.

Yates said the grant also allowed for a mass media campaign which promoted healthy habits and choices at the university and in the surrounding local community.

She said the track will help promote a healthier culture for the community and provide a convenient, beautiful setting for people to enjoy exercise.

"The gorgeous setting behind Sanderson is a premium location for an environment conducive to exercise. This is a great asset for MSU, and we so appreciate the funding by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation," Yates said.

Allison Matthews | Public Affairs

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