Weight-loss, scholarship initiative adds new challenges, incentives
A scholarship drive designed to promote healthy eating and wellness begins its third year with more tools for participants to meet their goals. Three iPad minis are to be given away as grand prizes.
The program, called Make Marble Pay, kicks off Monday, Jan. 21 in the Nobbs Wellness Center, located in the USAO Student Center. Those interested in participating are invited to weigh-in between 9 a.m. and noon at any time during the spring term.
The program will end on April 12, one week before the end of the spring term.
For every pound lost during that period, Dr. Dex Marble, vice president of academic affairs at the university, will donate $10 towards the general scholarship fund.
Though the initiative had been capped at $5000 for the first two years of the program, Marble has lifted those limitations and will fund whatever the campus initiative can generate.
“I want people to know that I’m as serious as they are about this program,” Marble says. “If, as a group, we can shed a thousand pounds through good nutrition and exercise, I’m fully prepared to write a check for $10,000 and consider it money well spent.”
Bigger challenges, better tools
The Make Marble Pay program is overseen by Chris Basco, health services director for the university.
In addition to ensuring that each participant is healthy enough to take part in the program, he’ll be available to offer counseling on the best techniques for safe and sustainable weight loss and answer questions that may arise related to the program.
All weight totals will be kept confidential and will not be shared with anyone else at any time.
Building on lessons learned through two years of Make Marble Pay, a few changes are in store for this year’s participants.
Grand prizes, an iPad mini, will be given to one student and one staff/faculty member who shed the largest percentage of their total mass. A third grand prize will be awarded to the individual who loses the greatest number of pounds.
Each participant is eligible to win only one grand prize. In the event that someone loses both the most weight and the greatest percentage, the third prize will be awarded to the closest second place finisher.
“Last year, we awarded the third prize to the person who was able to transform the greatest amount of fat into muscle,” Basco says, “but we found that people were confused or put off by the weigh-in process required to measure that so we went with something simpler to calculate and track.”
Another change to last year’s program is the weigh-in schedule.
Participants are invited to come and weigh-in during the course of the initiative at the Nobbs Wellness Center at their leisure. More frequent weigh-ins will be encouraged by a biweekly random drawing of names of those who have weighed in.
“If they want to participate, people have to the initial and final weigh-in with me,” Basco says. “After that, they can weigh in with the Nobbs staff as often as they like and we’ll encourage that behavior by giving away prizes for those who weigh in regularly.”
Another monthly prize will be given away for the participant who logs the most time exercising in the Wellness Center.
Tools for Success
To increase awareness and provide more tools for success, USAO Campus Dining, who provides food services for the campus, will be designating one meal per service as optimized for those participating.
The Make Marble Pay meal option will be designated by specially branded displays on the serving line alongside the nutritional information that is already available.
Programs optimized for those beginning a new exercise regimen, created by Basco, also will be available in the Nobbs Wellness Center along with dietary tips.
Finally, the Make Marble Pay website has been re-launched to house information about the program, a platform to give updates about the progress of the fundraising efforts and a resource containing links to information about sustainable, healthy lifestyle choices.
The Make Marble Pay website can be found at projects.usao.edu/makemarblepay
More information about the program can be obtained by calling 574-1331.