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Winning Teams Announced in SSC’s Walking Challenge Camaraderie increased as teams walk millions of s

Winning teams have been announced in Southeast Service Cooperative’s (SSC) 10th Annual Walking Challenge, in which over 500 individuals from 17 SSC member organizations competed. Nine Southeastern Minnesota School Districts and seven Local Government Members participated in two separate steps-based challenges.

Winners in the School District Challenge included Wabasha-Kellogg – 1st Place, Goodhue – 2nd Place, and Grand Meadow– 3rd Place. The remaining teams, which each received an honorable mention, are listed in the order of their ranking: PEM, Byron, Red Wing, Lewiston-Altura, Zumbrota-Mazeppa, and Albert Lea. Goodhue was the winner for having the highest percentage of its staff participate.

Wabasha-Kellogg School District Wellness Coordinator Ashley Scheel shared, “A good movement challenge is just what the doctor ordered this time of year! The Wabasha-Kellogg Falcon Steppers always look forward to this competition. This year the Falcon Steppers came out hot starting with the stepping lead and maintained the lead the entire race. Ever since the contest added the addition of the participation award, it has been our goal to win both in the same year. Kudos to Goodhue for having the highest participation percentage and we will try again next year! We missed it by a mere 3%! Everyone keep taking those steps towards becoming a healthier you! ” Goodhue’s Wellness Coordinator Chris Heitman added, “We greatly improved this season and can't wait for next year to go for gold--or in our case PURPLE! GO WILDCATS!”

Rice-Steele 911 Center was the winner in the Local Government Division. The rest of the rankings were as follows: City of Dodge Center – 2nd Place, Goodhue County – 3rd Place. The honorable mention placements included – Austin HRA, Mower County, City of Byron, Freeborn County, and Workforce Development, Inc. City of Dodge Center was the participation winner.

Derrek Matson, a Rice-Steele 911 Center team member, stated, “Over the last few years, I have really enjoyed and now look forward to the January Walking Challenge. I like the extra motivation, and fun spirit of competition it brings to the New Year. Early morning walks in the crisp fresh air are a great way to start the day and a good time to listen to audio books. Over the years we have walked our way up the standings, coming in 2nd last year and 3rd in 2019. I am excited to step-up our game and defend the title next year! City of Dodge Center wellness coordinator Bryce Lange shared, "The City of Dodge Center enjoyed participating in SSC's step competition in January. 11 staff members participated, and we enjoyed encouraging each other to improve and get more steps each week. Participating in the challenge helped us make conscious decisions to get moving throughout the day."

The contest, which ran the month of January, was based on the number of steps walked by participating members. Trophies (and bragging rights) are awarded to the winning teams.

Southeast Service Cooperative has operated since 1976. It is a public, non-profit cooperative of over 100 member schools, local governments, and non-profits impacting over 82,000 students and almost 18,000 employees in eleven counties to mobilize resources and add value through collaboration. To learn more about the Southeast Service Cooperative, visit

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