MARENGO — UnitedHealthcare’s PLAYMAKERS program, with support from Ohio State IMG Sports Marketing and 97.1 The Fan, awarded a $25,000 grant to Highland Elementary School.
The school will use the funds to purchase a climbing wall and additional sports equipment to promote physical activity and active play.
Former Ohio State University and NFL linebackers Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel, UnitedHealthcare leaders and school officials surprised Highland Elementary students with the announcement at a pep rally Thursday morning.
PLAYMAKERS helps improve young Buckeyes’ health and happiness by promoting physical activity and active play at schools across Ohio. According to United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings, more than 33 percent of children in Ohio ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese, placing the state 36th nationally.
“On behalf of Highland Elementary, I want to thank UnitedHealthcare and Ohio State Athletics for this generous grant and their commitment to encouraging physical activity at elementary schools across Ohio,” said Shawn Winkelfoos, Highland Elementary School principal.
Each week during the 2018 Ohio State football season, residents across the state registered for a chance to win an Ohio State prize package that included autographed merchandise and the opportunity to designate an Ohio elementary school to receive one of 12 weekly $1,000 PLAYMAKERS grants from UnitedHealthcare.
At the end of the season, Highland Elementary and the other 12 weekly finalists were entered for the chance to be selected to win the $25,000 top-prize grant.
“UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to team up with The Ohio State University and 97.1 The Fan to provide a program across the state that promotes and encourages physical activity and active play to improve the health and well-being of Ohio children,” said Kurt Lewis, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Ohio.
UnitedHealthcare serves nearly 2 million Ohio residents.