By Betsy Dolan
Missouri City’s Mayor Allen Owen, with a brand new $4.5 million dollar recreation center behind him, challenged Sugar Land’s Mayor James Thompson to a city-wide competition in the H-E-B “It’s Time, Texas” Healthy Challenge.
“When I live a healthy lifestyle, I have the whole city behind me ready to join in and back me up. How about you and your Sugar Land citizens, Mayor Thompson? Are you up for a friendly challenge? Sign the pledge and get your community moving. I have no doubt that the citizens of Missouri City will give yours a run for the money, ” said Owen in a video made by the city as part of Missouri City’s participation in the program.
Sugar Land, a five-time “Fittest City in Texas” winner was quick to respond.
“It has come to my attention that a certain mayor from down the road believes his citizens lead a healthier lifestyle then we do in Sugar Land,” said Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson. “Well, I take exception to that. There is a reason we won the first Governor’s Cup naming Sugar Land the Fittest City in Texas and held that title for four consecutive years. Talk is cheap. Our message is you’re on. We’re ready for the challenge and have the hardware and citizens to prove it. But, are you ready for us?”
During the months of September and October, individuals, schools and organizations will use the Healthy at H-E-B Community Challenge website (www.hebcommunitychallenge.com/) to log activities that earn their community points. After two months of competition, all points will be totaled, and the winning community from each of the community categories (small, medium, and large) will be awarded the title of Healthy at H-E-B Community Challenge Winner. The “It’s Time, Texas” initiative runs through October 31.
New rec center used as tool in contest
Mayor Owen told the City Council that he hopes the new recreation center, which opened in July, will be a way to engage citizens in the challenge, by allowing them an easy way to log their exercise hours.
Larry Foos, Missouri City Parks and Recreation Director, told the City Council that as of August 19 there were 425 new memberships and 341 day passes had been issued at $5 each.
Foos told the council that the new facility has already brought in more revenue in eight months than the old facility did in a year.
Foos said he expects new memberships to grow even more as the free six month memberships given to users of the old rec center expire and they renew their memberships at the new rec center.