The “Step into Summer” Walking Competition, sponsored by the Central Connecticut Health District, formally closed with an awards ceremony Thursday night, July 7 at the Rocky Hill Summer Concert Series at Elm Ridge Park in Rocky Hill. The competition aimed to get residents engaged in healthy life style habits including increased physical activity. Over 300 residents in the towns of Belin, Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield heeded the call and tallied over 38,500 miles, the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe at the equator more than one and one-half times. The Town of Berlin won the overall competition and Berlin Town Manager Denise McNair proudly received the High Stepper Trophy to bring home to Berlin residents. During June 1 and June 29, 2016, Berlin residents collectively logged 15,663 miles for an average of 158 miles/participant.

In prior years, municipal employees have competed against one another, but this year the competition was opened up to Health District residents of all ages. Ms. McNair reminded those in attendance that Berlin has won the competition for the past four years.

Winners from each town in three age groups were also announced. For the town of Berlin, the under 18 winner was Patrick Massa. Top Steppers for the 18-64 and 65+ age groups were Maura and Richard Forauer, respectively. For Newington, apparent “girl power” center of the Health District with all their awardees being female, Charlene Drzata was the < 18 winner, Marilyn Janelle won the 18-64 age group and Anita Schaffer topped others in the 65+ age group. In Rocky Hill, Parth Gohil, was the winner for the under 18 age group, with Samile Keeler and Bob Ludwig representing high steppers in the 18-64 and 65+ age groups respectively. Wethersfield, the community who had the highest percentage of young participants, Alyssa Pearce won in the under 18 age group, with James Kulpa and David Santoro in the 18-64 and 65+ age groups, respectively.
Director of the Central Connecticut Health District, Charles Brown would like to thank all residents and those who participated and supported the successful event, including Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield of CT and Hartford Healthcare. The health district is looking forward to next year’s competition, and to increasing walking opportunities in the towns