Mayor's challenge to bring a healthier, happier Hesperia

Daily Press; · by Rene Ray De La Cruz Staff Writer

HESPERIA — Mayor Eric Schmidt said he plans to lead the people of Hesperia into the promised land of healthier living during the Mayor’s Health and Fitness Challenge, which begins this weekend.

Sponsored by the city’s Healthy Hesperia program, the goal of the inaugural event is to encourage residents to live their best lives by establishing healthy eating and fitness habits.

Another motivating factor for the fitness challengers will be nearly $900 in prize money that will be shared among the top three participants with the highest percentage of weight lost from starting body weight.

Schmidt told the Daily Press the Hesperia challenge is part of a big push through the Healthy High Desert initiative to get the community engaged in a healthier lifestyle by making better food choices and participating in physical fitness.

“Apple Valley and Adelanto have already completed a mayor’s type challenge,” Schmidt said. “Hesperia waited to get our challenge to coincide with Hesperia Days.”

The 67th annual Hesperia Days comes to town Saturday and Sunday, and includes the Kiwanis Hesperia Days Parade where Schmidt and his wife, Cindie, will be grand marshals of the parade, with the parade motto, "Healthy Means Happy in Hesperia."

Throughout the 10-week “friendly competition,” Schmidt said the program will include monthly weigh-ins, optional classes on nutrition and healthy weight loss, and opportunities to participate in “Fitness with the Mayor” events.

“My own personal weight loss would be great, but the main output I want to see is an engaged community that is asking questions about meal and food choices, citizens who are making time to use the amenities of the city for physical fitness and wellness, and the City of Hesperia helping to bring both to fruition," Schmidt said.

Schmidt said the challenge came from an idea sparked between himself and Hesperia Management Analyst Julie Ryan who also heads up the city's Healthy Hesperia initiative.

Earlier this year, Apple Valley Mayor Larry Cusack's Weight Loss Challenge saw 200 residents participant in the four-month competition. After the final weigh-in, the top winners were Glenn Bonde who lost 28.28 percent of his body weight and Valerie Forker who lost 20.73 percent. Cusack came up 2.8 pounds short of his goal of 50 pounds lost.

Hesperia contestants will weigh in for the first time on Tuesday, again in October and a final weigh-in on Nov. 24, with the top three winners announced during the City Council meeting on Dec. 1. The first place winner will receive $500, second place $250 and third place $100. Challenge participants must be Hesperia residents, 18 years of age or older.

The Mayor’s Health and Fitness Challenge will accept participant registration forms no later than 4 p.m. Friday at Hesperia City Hall, 9700 Seventh Ave.

Those who don't meet the Friday deadline can turn forms in Saturday at the city’s booth at the Hesperia Days celebration, at Hesperia Lake Park, 7500 Arrowhead Lake Road. Visit for more information on Hesperia Days.

Fisit or challenge registration forms, rules, requirements, restrictions, scheduled events and more information or call 760- 947-1589.

Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, or on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz. · by Rene Ray De La Cruz Staff Writer

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