LIMA — When they weren’t busy going after bad guys, members of the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office were stepping their way into shape.
They also won their share of bragging rights for winning a statewide contest sponsored by County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio, which provides health insurance for Allen County and many other counties in Ohio.
Waldick’s office was tops in the state, with more than 1 million steps. For its efforts, it won a $1,000 prize. Instead of keeping the money, the Prosecutor's Office decided to donate it to a local charity: the Samaritan House, a local homeless shelter for women and children.
“I left it up to the employees to come up with a charity. That’s who we picked,” Waldick said. “We deal with domestic violence on a large scale, and there are so many domestic violence victims we thought we could help.”
Bev Miller, the president of the board at the Samaritan House, said the check will go toward operating expenses.
“This comes at a good time,” Miller said.
Most of Waldick’s staff of 24 participated in the wellness program, which had staff members wearing pedometers tracking each step they took from early April 2012 to May 2012. Staff members could also earn points for working out with weights, the elliptical machine or other types of fitness activity.
“The currency of the challenge was steps,” Waldick said. “All activities were converted into steps.”
All data was entered into a type of calculator on the American Heart Association website. The conversions were done automatically, stored and tallied.
“We had a very high participation rate in our department. We had 15 to 17 people in the prosecutor’s office who took part in it,” he said.
One of those staff members was Lori Baldauf, the civil department administrator, who participated and helped organize the contest by signing up employees and making sure people logged in their steps.
“We would walk over lunch or go home and do the elliptical,” Baldauf said.