Public chooses winner in "Make the Play" for a healthier Michigan video contest for school children

More than 24,000 votes cast online in 12 days to pick winner of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan contest

May 7, 2012

DETROIT — Farmington Hills fifth grader Hailey Samples and Detroit Lions superstar quarterback Matthew Stafford are about to become acquainted.

Hailey edged out strong competition to become the winner of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s first "Make the Play for Healthy Habits" video contest. More than 40 entries were submitted from school children around the state, each detailing a student’s ideas for making Michigan a healthier place.

Five students made the finals, but only one could win the grand prize – an assembly for their school with Stafford. Of the 24,000 votes received over a 12-day voting period, Hailey edged out the second place finisher by just more than 100 votes.

"Each of our five finalists submitted a creative video with terrific ideas about how they would make Michigan healthier," said Andrew Hetzel, BCBSM vice president, Corporate Communications. "Good health for our kids is a community effort, and Blue Cross is proud that each student had such strong support of family, friends and the online community during the contest. We’re very impressed that Hailey came from behind to win in the final days through the strength of her family and community’s social media network. Hailey’s comeback was amazing – sort of like Matthew Stafford leading the Lions down the field to win in the fourth quarter last season in Oakland."

All the kids’ videos can be viewed at ahealthiermichigan.org/kidcontest.

Hailey and her schoolmates at Warner Upper Elementary School in Farmington Hills will receive a visit from Matthew Stafford, and Hailey will have the opportunity to star as a guest video blogger on A Healthier Michigan. The "Make the Play for Healthy Habits" contest was inspired by 10-year-old Marshall Reid from North Carolina, who documented his fight against childhood obesity through "Portion Size Me" videos. Video submissions answered the question: "What would you do to make Michigan healthier?" and include the student’s ideas for how to live a healthy life, including their family and/or their classroom, and how to communicate healthy lifestyle choices with families and students.

The contest adds a new dimension to the Blues’ statewide efforts to combat childhood obesity by encouraging kids to share their ideas using media. According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being. Schools play a particularly critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors. Schools also provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

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