Fueling Up for 2017

Jan 17, 2017
Program receives $100,000 grant from Houston Super Bowl Committee

Dairy MAX’s dedication to promoting youth wellness is nothing new—the organization has supported Fuel Up to Play 60 for years, but in 2016 their role expanded in a big way. 

On October 25, Dairy MAX served as the host of the first GENYOUth Town Hall held in Texas at the University of Houston.  

GENYOUth, along with the National Dairy Council and the NFL, support Fuel Up to Play 60.  As the 2017 Super Bowl is scheduled to play in Houston, the location proved to be the perfect fit for the Texas Town Hall. 

The Town Hall hosted 100 participants, all with differing backgrounds, with one common goal—youth health and wellness. Teachers, administrators, Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisors and students, dairy farmers, business leaders and health and wellness leaders were all present. 

“The goal of the Texas Town Hall was to bring together thought leaders and business partners to learn about Fuel Up to Play 60 and drive their individual support and engagement in the program,” says Alyson Kirchner, vice president of school marketing at Dairy MAX. 

In addition to participants, the event included special guests who added to the dialogue about youth wellness and empowerment. 

Participants heard special remarks from key leaders: Mike Konkle, CEO of Dairy MAX, Hannah McNair, wife of Houston Texans COO Cal McNair, JJ Moses, Houston Texans alumni player, Jean Ragalie-Carr, National Dairy Council President and Neil Hoff, Chairman of Dairy MAX’s Board of Directors. 

The event also hosted an expert panel discussion featuring Houston-area physician Dr. Sonya Sloan, child nutrition director Mary Harryman, vice president of the Justin J. Watt Foundation (and mother of Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt) Connie Watt, and Houston area school principal and Fuel Up to Play 60 champion Kory Jessie. 

“The panelists were the center piece of the Town Hall. They offered great insight across many different layers of youth wellness,” states Kirchner. 

Round table discussions featuring special guests Jean Ragalie-Carr, president of the National Dairy Council, Ann Marie Krauthiem, president of GENYOUth, and Dairy MAX board members and dairy farmers Pauline DeVos, Neil Hoff and Tom Woods were also part of the event. 

At the conclusion, attendees were asked to participate in a 30-day and 90-day planning activity with their table. 

“The 30-and 90-day planning activity allowed small groups at each table to talk about what action they could take in the upcoming days to support Fuel Up to Play 60,” says Kirchner. “Using what they learned from the students and panelists, they planned together in their small groups.” 

Although the Texas Town Hall lasted one morning, participant involvement lasts much longer. 

“We will continue to stay connected with participants to encourage their engagement and build relationships with new partners who may be able to support investment in Fuel Up to Play 60 grants and activities,” states Kirchner. 

Additionally, a $100,000 grant was presented to the Fuel Up to Play 60 program from the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee at the event. 

“The funds will be used to increase access to breakfast in Houston middle schools by providing a Grab-n-Go Breakfast Cart to schools with high need,” says Kirchner. “Schools will also receive NFL Flag Essentials Football Kits to provide additional physical activity opportunities to their students.” 

The Texas Town Hall received media coverage of the event, with ABC, NBC and FOX news crews in attendance. With a great turnout and media presence, the Texas Town Hall set a high standard for future Town Halls.