The quest to get healthy affects many Americans, and with a new year generally comes renewed ambitions to lose weight. Becky Pearson and her staff at Pearson Physical Therapy in Broken Bow saw this as the perfect opportunity to lend a little incentive to area resident’s weight loss goals.
Pearson says she and her staff began discussing hosting some type of weight loss challenge last fall. They decided January would be the ideal time to get the challenge underway.
Becky spent many years involved in rodeo, and somewhat patterned the challenge after that sport. She added money to sweeten the pot, and named the event the Weight Loss Jackpot. The first weigh-in was set for January 7, and 86 people signed up.
Participants were charged an entry fee of $20. Pearson had decided to put half of the entry fee money back in the pot for prize money, and donate the other half to a local quadriplegic patient in need. Half of the money came to $860, so Pearson contributed another $140 to make the pot an even $1,000.
The final weigh-in was March 12, and when the weights were all tabulated Luke Wassom of Broken Bow was declared the winner. He lost a total of 12.92 percent of his body weight during the jackpot, and as a result earned a check for $500. However, Luke opted not to keep his winnings and instead donated the money to a friend of his who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Second place in the contest, with a total loss of 11.94 percent of her body weight, was Laurie Holeman of Westerville. She donated her $300 check to the quadriplegic patient.
Brian Morse of Merna was the third place, $200 winner, losing 10.6 percent of his body weight during the two-month challenge.
Pearson says she also received an additional $205 in other donations for the patient she chose to help with this project.
Not everyone showed up for the final weigh-in, but of those who did a total of 303 pounds was recorded lost during the Weight Loss Jackpot.
Pearson says it was just through conversation among her and her staff members about wanting to lose weight and get healthier themselves that they decided to try this. It was such a success plans are already being made to host the Weight Loss Jackpot again next year.
Pearson says the team is looking at some things they might do different for next year’s event, including hosting a website where they can post recipes and other encouraging tips.
“All of our winners this year said they did this for the motivation, not for the money,” said Pearson.