Nebraskans across the state laced up their sneakers and walked toward better health on Wednesday, April 26 for National Walk at Lunch (NW@L) Day.

NW@L Day is an annual event hosted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) and YMCAs across the state encouraging Nebraskans to take a few minutes out of their day and go on a walk.

“Hosting this event again is a source of great excitement for us,” said Kathy Nellor, health transformation leader at BCBSNE. “It’s not only an opportunity to encourage Nebraskans to move but also a chance to unite and help our community.”

BCBSNE pledged to donate $5,000 to Special Olympics Nebraska (SONE) if 10,000 walkers registered for the event. The company surpassed its goal and had nearly 11,700 people sign up for NW@L Day.

“We value this partnership so deeply,” said Carolyn Chamberlin, CEO of SONE. “BCBSNE’s continued support is a testament to the positive impact that can be achieved through collaboration. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of every Nebraskan, including those with intellectual disabilities.”

In addition to the donation to SONE, one lucky school that participated won a $1,000 physical education grant from BCBSNE for taking the pledge. Congratulations to Elkhorn Valley Schools in Tilden, Nebraska, this year’s winner.

“We are so grateful for this donation,” said Jane Tegeler, school nurse at Elkhorn Valley Schools. “Our physical education teachers plan to use the funds to add a new gymnastics and tumbling unit to their classes.”

For the second year in a row, BCBSNE was able to host an in-person NW@L Day event at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village. Walkers from various surrounding businesses enjoyed music, sunshine and company while making moves toward better health.

“The day was truly beautiful, and it was wonderful to see so many people striding toward better health,” said Nellor. “There’s something special about getting outside and making a conscious effort to improve our physical well-being. We so appreciate everyone who made this year’s event a success.”

Missed out on the fun? It doesn’t have to be NW@L Day to focus on health and wellness. Whatever the activity may be, BCBSNE encourages all Nebraskans to take time to improve their well-being.

For more stories like this, visit Community Engagement.