2011 was a landmark year for the Let's Move! campaign, and as first reported here, First Lady Michelle Obama will celebrate with a national three-day tour beginning on Thursday, Feb. 9. It has been designed to "highlight examples of people making changes across the country, from a single family to an entire state," the White House said today when announcing the full schedule. Mrs. Obama will visit with thousands of people as she makes eight stops in four states: Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, and Florida. She'll be announcing new commitments and projects for Let's Move!.
The First Lady will be joined at events by TV and sports celebrities, including Olympians Michelle Qwan and Shawn Johnson, and NASCAR champ Carl Edwards, players from the Dallas Cowboys, Top Chef contestants, political leaders, parents, children, faith and community leaders, physicians, educators and grass roots activists. The First Lady will host a live and virtual Let's Move! Town Hall, watch a culinary competition, have dinner with a family in their home, join parents for a roundtable discussion at an Olive Garden restaurant, and participate in fitness activities with thousands of kids. Her stops include the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa; an Air Force Base in Little Rock, Arkansas; a huge church in Longwood, Florida; and the Walt Disney World Resort. Mrs. Obama was last in Florida on Jan. 26, for an announcement of a partnership with Goya Foods for the Let's Move! campaign.
On the first day of her tour, Mrs. Obama will jet between three events in three states.
DAY 1, Feb. 9: Iowa, Arkansas, Texas
Let’s Move! Day in Iowa
*Des Moines, Iowa 11:15 AM CT/ 12:15 PM ET
Mrs. Obama begins the day with a huge event focused on fitness that will include 10,000 local children, grades 6-9, at Des Moines' Wells Fargo Arena, as she showcases Iowa's Healthiest State Initiative. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will sign a proclamation establishing Feb. 9 as “Let’s Move! Day in Iowa” to celebrate the second anniversary. The Governor launched the Healthiest State Initiative five years ago, before entering office. The kids will be doing fitness activities, and will enjoy a healthy lunch.
Mrs. Obama will be joined by former two-term Iowa Governor and current Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, NASCAR racing champion and member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Carl Edwards, Olympic figure skating champion and President’s Council member Michelle Kwan, Olympic champion gymnast Shawn Johnson, 2011 WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings, Health and Fitness Expert Bob Harper, Iowa State University Basketball coach and former NBA player Fred Hoiberg.
Local performers include Norwalk Show Choir, SE Polk High School Kick Team, Valley High School Competition Cheerleaders, Valley High School a cappella singing group, Elite Edge Dance Company, Storm Chasers Cheerleaders, Iowa Skippers, Waukee a cappella singing group, University of Iowa Breakers, American Idol’s Katelyn Epperly, Isiserettes and the UNI Interlude creators.
*Little Rock, Arkansas 2:00 PM CT / 3:00 PM ET
"Military Improving Nutrition for Servicemembers"
Mrs. Obama travels to Little Rock, Ark, for an event at Little Rock Air Force Base where she will make an announcement "about the military’s efforts to improve the nutrition of food served throughout military bases." Mrs. Obama will receive a briefing on the Air Force’s healthy eating efforts from leadership and then visit the dining facility with cooks and airmen to discuss the changes.
Mrs. Obama will be joined by Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Jonathan Woodson, Director of Air Force Services Brigadier General Eden Murrie, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Mr. Robert Gordon III, and Commander 19th Airlift Wing Colonel Brian S. Robinson.
The Base is part of a special pilot program that has "enhanced food service quality, variety and availability through new acquisition processes and redesign efforts," the White House said. More than one-quarter of 17-24 year- olds are too overweight to serve in the U.S. military, according to the Department of Defense, which spends an estimated $1.1 billion per year on medical care associated with excess weight and obesity.
*Ft. Worth, TX: 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET
"Parents and Businesses Making a Difference"
Mrs. Obama will host a roundtable dinner discussion with parents at a local Olive Garden restaurant. Darden Restaurants, Inc., parent to Olive Garden, is America's largest full-service restaurant company, and last year committed to revamping its menu offerings for Let's Move! The names of the parents who will join Mrs. Obama have not been released. The restaurant will remain open for business.
"Mrs. Obama will have a conversation with the parents about their efforts and get their ideas on how Let’s Move! can continue to support families across the country," the White House said.
DAY 2, Feb. 10: Texas, Florida
*Dallas, TX: 9:30 AM CT / 10:30 AM ET
"Schools and Chefs Working Together;" Top Chef
In Dallas, Mrs. Obama will be at the Kleberg Rylie Recreation Center for an event spotlighting healthy food in schools and the Chefs Move to Schools project, launched in July of 2010. There are now 3,400 chefs and 3,350 schools signed up, according to the White House. Joined by chefs who have appeared on Bravo’s hit series Top Chef, host Tom Colicchio, and members of the Dallas Cowboys, Mrs. Obama "will announce a coalition that is working together to expand" Chefs Move to Schools, which will include a new website.
The Top Chef stars and the Cowboys will do battle in "a healthy cooking competition" as students from Nancy Moseley Elementary School watch. The school is a Gold school in the HealthierUS School Challenge program, a USDA program promoted by Let's Move!. The Dallas Independent School District has the most HUSC schools in the US, with 154, most at the Gold level.
Colicchio and Sam Kass will lead the judging as Colicchio will lead the judging, as Top Chefs Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, Jennifer Carroll, Spike Mendelsohn, Grayson Schmitz and Paul Qui compete in a healthy cooking competition. Cowboys players DeMarcus Ware, Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray will join the fun.
*Homestead, FLA: 4:00 PM ET
WebMD Town Hall: "Simple Tips For Healthy Families"
Mrs. Obama will hold a live and virtual Let's Move! Town Hall at the Homestead YMCA Family Center, hosted by WebMD. Mrs. Obama and a panel of experts will "answer questions from a live local audience and a national online audience about how families can implement healthy changes in their daily lives." The panel will include WebMD’s Director of Nutrition Kathleen Zelman, pediatrician Dr. Hansa Bhargava, nutritionist Elizabeth Ward and the YMCA’s National Director for Health and Well-being Jim Kauffman.
Parents can submit questions for the First Lady and the panel at www.webmd.com/townhall.
YMCA joined Let's Move! in 2011 with a pledge to adopt a set of standards to ensure its childcare programs programs offer children fruits, vegetables and water as snacks and adequate physical activity.
*Orland, FLA: 7:00 PM ET
"Family dinner: Change Begins At Home"
In the evening, in Orlando, Florida, Mrs. Obama will join a family at their home for dinner. The family "has made changes to become healthier," according to the White House. Mrs. Obama will "discuss the everyday changes families can make."
DAY 3, Feb. 11, Florida
The First Lady begins the day in Longwood, Florida before traveling to Orlando to visit Disney World.
*Longwood, FLA: 10:30 AM ET
"Faith and Community Groups Leading the Way"
At Northland, A Church Distributed, Mrs. Obama will make remarks to more than 3,000 people as she discusses the achievements of Let's Move Faith and Communities, launched in November of 2010. Since then, "these organizations have initiated a broad range of activities including reporting over 2.8 million miles walked and working to provide healthy food to their congregations," according to the White House.
Speakers will include Northland Senior Pastor Dr. Joel Hunter, Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Larry Mills, Member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sport, and Nutrition Donna Richardson Joyner, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Reverend Samuel Rodriguez and author and educator Donald Miller.
Performances will be by Yolanda Adams, the Northland Worship Team, the Evans High School Choir, Next Generation Kids, Orlando Aerial Arts, and Liberty Singers; and there will be a presentation by Roger Oxendale, CEO, Nemours Children’s Hospital, and the Nemours fitness team
*Orlando, FLA 2:30 PM ET, Walt Disney World
"Getting Active Is Fun!"
Following the event at Northland, First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to ESPN Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World Resort to participate in a physical activity event for "hundreds of local kids and their families, including participants in the morning’s faith event."
Disney Channel and Disney XD stars and professional athletes will be on hand as "families participate in fun, physical activity stations," the White House said. "Disney Magic of Healthy Living program is aligned with the goals of Let’s Move! – the initiative is designed to partner with parents." Tickets are being distributed by local faith and community organizations.
In 2011, 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.
Mrs. Obama's speech on the one-year anniversary of Let's Move!:
*Photo of Mrs. Obama during a Let's Move! event in Inglewood, CA, on Feb. 1 by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama