Cape Gazette
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Friday Editorial

Donation pushes Sussex Outdoors into high gear

May 31, 2013

Sussex Outdoors, an initiative that encourages people to get outside and active - and in so doing to naturally improve their health - jumped into a higher gear recently. An organization known as Kelly Benefit Strategies has teamed with Sussex Outdoors to up the stakes. A big believer in the Plus 3 Network, Kelly has donated $10,000 to seed a Sussex Outdoors initiative that will allow people to raise funds for charitable organizations while logging their minutes of physical activity online. Plus 3 has set up an internet-based system where people can join so-called clubhouses to log activity along with other people they know.

By logging on to plus3network.com and going to the Sussex Outdoors section, people can get a sense of how it works.

The aim of the program is to not only get people outside, active and healthier, but to also show that public awareness programs - such as those that have sharply curtailed dangerous smoking in our society – can have a positive impact on reversing the obesity trend in this country. The people of the U.S. are recognized as very generous when it comes to sharing their dollars to help others in need.

This Plus 3 initiative couples that inclina­tion with personal physical fitness programs that will help others while helping those who participate.

It cannot be mentioned too often that a huge portion of this nation’s healthcare costs ­estimated as high as 70 percent - can be traced to unhealthy lifestyle choices. If we have any chance of containing healthcare costs, which threaten to bankrupt this nation, our society has to choose to reverse lifestyle trends that include several hours in front of computer and television screens for every hour spent outside and active.

Sussex County is blessed with thousands and thousands of acres of public outdoor space where people can have all kinds of fun while being outside. The Kelly donation to the Sussex Outdoors initiative is a strong signal of confidence in the merits of the initiative and will no doubt be the first of many that will ul­timately pay people to help themselves while helping others. The Cape Gazette looks for­ward to helping publicize this program, which aims to make Sussex the healthiest county in the nation. We have a long way to go, but pro­grams like these can help us be successful.

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