Monday, January 23, 2012

Michelle Obama To Kick Off Second Anniversary Celebration For Let's Move! In Iowa

Three-day, multi-state tour planned for childhood obesity campaign...physical fitness activities spotlighted...
Physical fitness initiatives will be front and center when First Lady Michelle Obama marks the second anniversary of the Let's Move! campaign with a visit to Des Moines, Iowa, on Feb. 9th. It's the start of a three-day national tour to celebrate the achievements of the campaign, according to Press Secretary Hannah August. Thousands of kids have been invited to join Mrs. Obama to take part in fitness and sports activities during the event at the Wells Fargo Arena, in keeping with the Let's Move! campaign's renewed focus on physical activity in the year ahead. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former two-term governor of Iowa, will join Mrs. Obama.

"Iowa has become a national leader in ensuring kids are leading healthy, active lives and created a program that makes sense for their state," Mrs. Obama said in a statement about her visit.

Mrs. Obama will also be joined by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, the Republican leader who has adopted his predecessor's Healthiest State program, a public-private partnership with a goal of making Iowa the nation’s healthiest state by 2016. The project is the key reason Mrs. Obama is visiting Des Moines, according to August.

"I’m looking forward to visiting Des Moines and celebrating all that Let’s Move! and Iowa have done to help our kids lead healthier lives," Mrs. Obama said.

In 2012, the Let's Move! fitness initiatives will include unveiling "wonderful new tools and information for parents," continuing to promote the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, and continuing a community-level focus, through Mayors, on improving access to physical activity opportunities, the First Lady said in November of 2011. She added that this can all be done without "spending a dime."

"When I launched Let’s Move! two years ago, my hope was that people would truly make the initiative their own, because we know that there’s not just one solution to the problem of childhood obesity," Mrs. Obama said.

The First Lady celebrated the one-year anniversary of her campaign in 2011 in Georgia, with a speech at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta and a visit to Burgess-Peterson Academy in Atlanta. She launched the campaign at the White House event in 2010. An overview of the campaign is here.

“We are excited to welcome the first lady to help us put Iowa’s public-private partnership in the national spotlight,” Gov. Branstad said in a statement. “Her visit will energize Iowans at the local level and encourage all of us to embrace our goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the country."

The First Lady's first official visit to Iowa was in May of 2011, when she gave the commencement address to the University of Northern Iowa's Class of 2011, in Cedar Rapids.

"It feels like I’ve spent more time in this state than anywhere besides Illinois or Washington, D.C. My family was here a lot back in 2007," Mrs. Obama said.

Candidate Obama's win in the Iowa caucuses helped propel him to the Democratic nomination. President Obama is visiting Cedar Rapids this Wednesday, to deliver remarks at Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing, as a follow-up to his State of the Union Address.

Mrs. Obama's other stops on her Let's Move! anniversary tour have not yet been announced.

>In this post, experts weigh in on Let's Move! achievements at the one-year mark.

Mrs. Obama's speech on the one-year anniversary of Let's Move:

*Photo at top of post by Chuck Kennedy/White House; Mrs. Obama was participating in one of her many fitness events with kids on the South Lawn of the White House