April 2009 - Spring is Sprung!
February 2009 - 600 Turn Out for South Carolina Movie Premiere
January 2009 - History of Generation Excel Launched
Happy Holidays to all!
Generation Excel continues to wait out the economy by working directly with families and supporting health & wellness programs via our grants & donations program. After 4 campaigns and hundreds of events across the country it will be a "digital campaign" in 2013 for Generation Excel. This seems the most cost effective way we can continue our mission of awareness, education, inspiration and motivation. The digital campaign involves providing complimentary DVD copies of our "Town Meeting on Childhood Obesity" program (produced during our campaign with Blue Cross a few years back) and our PSA "I Got You."
Of course for a donation of any kind to Generation Excel you'll receive a DVD copy of our award winning obesity documentary "Million Calorie March: The Movie." The latest edit - completed in 2012 is receiving very good reviews out there in the educational markets.
The latest is from Booklist is here.
If you'd like to support Gen Excel and the work we do you can order the movie here
In other news my former co-host of Pennsylvania's "Million Pound Meltdown" Dr. Carmella Sebastian has launched a new health and wellness website. Please feel free to check it out if you are concerned about your health or some one you care about, at www.drcarm.com. There's also a sweet piece in Carm's blog about "Million Calorie March: The Movie" as well!
Carmella & I criss-crossed 13 Pennsylvania counties during the early days of the Blue Cross campaign we did there in 2005 and she is a dedicated, knowledgable and funny, funny lady!
We look forward to 2013 with hope and optimism. May it be a great year for us all!
Keep on "Marching" my friends.
Weeks later we here at GXL are still wowed by our 2012 GXL Running Team. Wow wee! Clare, Keith and Renee ran the race on one of the hottest days ever and all finished and had great times. The fact that they finished at all is amazing to me. I think it was in the 70's in 2005 when I joined the team for my 6 1/2 hour run/walk and I remember how tough the heat was….and this year was nearly 90 degrees! BUT moreover the spirit and dedication they showed for our struggling little non-profit was just great to see. They worked just as hard as they trained to raise over $7000 for GXL. Julie and I enjoyed a wonderful celebration dinner with our runners and their S/O's on June 3rd at Boston's Dolce Vita in the North End.
Money raised from is year's race will go towards our grants program and distribution of our award winning childhood obesity documentary "Million Calorie March: The Movie.
If you didn't get a chance to pledge this year's Marathon Team there are still 2 ways you can help support Generation Excel in 2012:
1. Watch our Childhood Obesity PSA "I've Got You" (featuring Kimberley Dahme of the classic rock band Boston on vocals) on YOUTUBE!
2. Order an advanced copy of the 2012 re-edit of "Million Calorie March: The Movie" (all proceeds benefit Generation Excel). That's right…after screening at Film Festivals, health fairs, wellness events and winning the International Freddie Award (previously won by Bill Gates, Magic Johnson and Peter Jennings) the documentary about childhood obesity and Generation Excel's first ever campaign is released to the public. The DVD includes the updated movie, deleted scenes and bonus extras. Proceeds of sales of the filmwill support our grants, donations and educational programs. For info on ordering an updated copy, e-mail gary "at" genexcel.org. Visit the official movie website!
Stay frosty everyone!
Marching On In 2012
Welcome to 2012 all -
There are 3 kinds of people in life: the ones that make things happen, the ones that watch things happen and the ones who say "what the heck happened?" (you could say I fall into all 3 these days).
BUT this Gen Excel update is about people making things happen, beginning with our 2012 Boston Marathon Runners, Clare Weeks and Keith Bartolomei - both of South Boston. Every year since 2005 we've been fortunate to have great, enthusiastic athletes ready and willing to run one of the world's most prestigious events in order to raise awareness and funds to help further our mission. Clare and Keith (husband of last year's star runner and bottomless cup of enthusiasm Renee Bartolomei) have set up fundraising pages on First Giving.com. It would mean the world to us if you can help them reach their fundraising goals in any way.
Donate for Keith
Donate for Clare
In keeping with theme of "people making things happen," Generation Excel's longtime board member and fundraising champion Todd G. Patkin continues to make the world a better place with his new book "Finding Happiness." Todd and Generation Excel's Dr. Howard Rankin recently participated in a TED Ex speaking event. Please visit the links below and see both of their impactful and innovative speeches on childhood obesity (Howard) and Happiness in kids.
Next up on making it happen - my new favorite guy Carmine Famiglietti, fellow battler of the bulge and obesity film producer. Carmine wrote, produced and starred in a film called LBS: The Movie, which is being released across the country this month! If you do one thing this year…buy, download or order on DVD LBS: The Movie. The film is funny, moving and important. I am very happy to have gotten to know Carmine and proud to call him my friend.
Another Obesity film is, of course, being prepped for release this year as well. I'll have more news on the national release of "Million Calorie March" a bit later this year.
Finally - if you are local and want to help raise funds for Generation Excel, come to the Montvale Plaza in Stoneham (click for the flyer) on Saturday, February 11th. I'll be there along with The World Gone Crazy: The Comedic Rock & Roll Circus performing comedy and rock & roll song parodies. The benefit will raise funds for both the Weber Foundation and Generation Excel.
Keep marching everyone!
Marching On In 2012
First off - thanks to everyone who attended the Structure Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina back in August. I truly enjoyed meeting everybody and seeing "Million Calorie March: The Movie" again and your reactions to it have re-energized us to release it nationwide in the New Year!
More on that in a minute. Back to the film festival…what was supposed to be one time screening on a Tuesday Night ended up being 2 more screenings on Wednesday and Thursday Nights and I really appreciated the enthusiasm of all who attended for the documentary.
Now to the big news - after 3 years on the film festival circuit (screening at festivals in Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Long Island, Boston among others) and health and wellness events from Texas to the Carolinas to Boston, "Million Calorie March: The Movie" will be released by a variety of distributors nationally in January 2012. In addition to DVD and online platforms such as Netflix and iTunes, the film will be distributed to libraries, schools, in flight entertainment companies, health resorts, and weight loss camps, among others. A broadcast deal continues to be progressing as well. At Generation Excel, we've always viewed the documentary project as a part of our overall education and awareness mission (a campaign of the digital type if you will) so we look forward to promoting this extensively in the media in the coming months. For those of you who attended one our screenings, it is noteworthy that this is not the version of the film which originally premièred back in late 2007 and 2008. Audience feedback, media reviews and creative suggestions from across the country have all made its way into a final edit by myself and associate producer Jeff Schmidt. I hope you enjoy the finished version of this obesity project conceived in 2001, shot between 2003 and 2006 and edited throughout most of 2007!
March on in 2012 my friends!
All the best-
Hello friends, supporters and Generation Excel enthusiasts!
Exciting news! Million Calorie March: The Movie will be screening at the first ever Structure House Film Festival and Movie Theme week in Durham, North Carolina.
For those of you not familiar with Structure House, it is one of the great health and obesity treatment programs in the country. Ironically, Structure House was one of our stops on our barnstorming 2008 cross-state "Million Step March" campaign back in 2008 with Blue Cross. It's an honor to be included among films like LBS: The Movie (2004) and the hot new obesity documentary "Forks Over Knives". I will be there to introduce the film, do some Question & Answer sessions and maybe even a speaking presentation or two. Of course I cherish the chance to return to North Carolina and reconnect with all my friends and fellow workers from what may be the most memorable campaign Generation Excel has produced yet.
Work continues on my follow up book "After The March: Confessions Of An Obesity Crusader" and hopefully we'll have big Generation Excel news for 2012 which I can share very shortly.
March on my friends -
Congratulations to both of our Boston Marathon Runners for amazing runs! Lyndsay Bennett (4:02:10) and Renee Bartolomei (4:43:59) not only trained hard, but ran hard and raised more funds than their original fundraising goals. Both were amazing to work with and passionate about Generation Excel and our mission. We look forward to acknowledging both of these women at our annual fundraiser this fall.
Speaking of which…The 2nd Annual Generation Liam Nation Fundraiser - a partnership between Generation Excel and The Liam Nation Project (a group from Boston's North Shore which raises funds for families and programs for children with cognitive disabilities) will be held Friday, September 30th at the Wilmington-Tewksbury Elks Club on South Street in Tewksbury.
The show will feature some of Boston's funniest stand up comedians and a hysterical performance by World Gone Crazy Band: The Comedic Rock & Roll Circus. Friday September 30th is the event - SAVE THE DATE!
The grants and donations from last year's joint fundraiser supported the Professional Center for Child Development in Andover, The TYB Challenger Program in Tewksbury MA, The MDSC and Dave McGillivray's DMSE Children's Fitness Foundation in Boston.
Progress continues here at Generation Excel on a variety of projects and initiatives for late 2011and 2012 which we'll talk about a bit later this summer. In the meantime I'll be hosting "Laughing At The Losing Game" at the Willowbend Country Club in Mashpee Cape Cod this summer (Details to come). This stand up comedy show stars Comedian Mike Dorval (Death By Chocolate) and Boston up and coming funnyman Alan Park. The show is a humorous look at the trials and tribulations of losing weight and trying to stay healthy in the "Land Of Plenty". Proceeds benefit our Fall Grants program.
Finally, while work continues on my follow up book After The March: Confessions Of An Obesity Crusader, I'm happy to report that on May 16th Finding Happiness, a book by my friend, supporter and philanthropist Todd Patkin was released. As many Gen Excel supporters know Todd was the major funder of our very first campaign: 2004's "Million Calorie March" from Florida to Boston. He also funded the Freddie Award Winning documentary "Million Calorie March: The Movie (2008). To write his memoir and self help book (about overcoming depression) Todd teamed up with Generation Excel's own Dr. Howard Rankin and the two have crafted an important and interesting read.
The book will be available on Amazon.com and Todd's website www.toddpatkin.com as well.
We'll see you soon - get out and enjoy the good weather! (when it actually comes).
WINTER / SPRING 2011
Wow, New England in the winter... If anyone needs a professional "walker" in Florida or the south please let me know! Things continue to move along here at Generation Excel…although a heck of a lot slower than they once did (I suspect we're not alone).
Pleased to announce our 2011 Boston Marathon Runners - the adventurous and spirited Renee Bartolomei and Lyndsay Bennett - both from Boston. Funds raised this year will help support our MSMNE campaign development and childhood obesity grants initiatives. Feel free to donate to their runs via our website or FirstGiving.org
Speaking of the MSMNE - or the Million Step March: New England campaign - we continue to meet with and sign up sponsors for the employee wellness and corporate health campaign. We've set our sights on September 8th through November 17th for the walk of the New England states. If you know any companies who are looking to truly inspire and motivate their workforce towards a healthier lifestyle please put them in touch!
If all goes well it should be a good year…as we await word from 2 major cable TV networks (TLC and OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network) on "Million Calorie March: The Movie." It's also a good year for our friend, hero, mentor, advisor, Gen Excel supporter and all around great guy Dave McGillivray. Dave's DMSE Sports Enterprises, is celebrating 30 years in the business of creating races, challenges, theme events and breath taking cross country runs. We'll be in attendance on March 12th at the Quincy Marriott to celebrate Dave's company achievements and hope to see you there. For information visit the DMSE website.
Finally - work continues on my next book "After The March: Confessions Of An Obesity Crusader". It's really been fun to relive the adventures, campaigns, and events since our launch in 2004. Ultimately it's a book about "Relapse in America" and what we have learned after 4 campaigns and over 200 events nationally. Looking at late 2012 for that one…depending on how punched our dance card gets this year!
Rock on everybody -
Sorry for the lack of updates. Here at Generation Excel - even when we're off the road and in between campaigns we are buried in proposals, power points, e-mails and meetings for the next wave of projects. We've begun a deep dive into two projects we are very passionate about here. One is a 2011 employee wellness campaign throughout the New England states aimed at inspiring, motivating and educating employees and employers alike. Wellness in the workplace and corporate health became a passion of mine and a big focus ever since our 2008 Million Step March tour across North Carolina. During that campaign we had Blue Cross employees join us on the road for 10 weeks of walking and goal setting on their personal health issues. At that point I became to realize that schedules, workloads, stress, bad time management and the hectic pace of today's business environment was the bigger villain in the obesity epidemic than fast food. Our initial meetings with corporate sponsors on this campaign have yielded strong interest and we hope to begin signing sponsors soon. Special thanks to Steve Bailen, GXL's Sr. Campaign Development Manager for all his work so far!
As many people know, another major focus of Generation Excel has been the return of Phys Ed to our schools. Since our launch in 2004 we've lobbied, raised awareness and I have personally been an activist for more exercise in all schools. Returning PE to schools has always been on our radars and never far from our hearts. So GXL's other new project is a mobile fitness vehicle bringing sports, games and play to schools through out New England. It's a gem of an idea that began when I joined the board of Playworks. Since then Generation Excel has formed a partnership with this fantastic program. Again, ongoing meetings with sponsors and funders have been the work of the day around here - and we look forward to announcing the official launch of these projects in 2011.
In other news here I'll be the keynote speaker on October 12th in Trumbull, Connecticut for United Health Care at the Marriott. I'll be speaking to the audience about corporate health and the need for employee wellness.
Finally, I'm also getting ready to launch my new presentation entitled "Analyze This: Embracing Health Risk Assessments". This customized multi-media presentation will educate and encourage employees to fill out health assessments so they can better target the areas they need to work on.
Keep marching everyone -
Summertime and the living is…O.K. frankly a lot harder than just a few years ago - but here at Generation Excel we are marching on and hailing the return of the Summer weather!
First off thanks to the great audience at G-Tech in Providence last month for my corporate wellness presentation "Healthy Bodies = Healthy Business". I enjoyed meeting everybody and listening to the other speakers. After 6 years and over 200 events with Generation Excel I've become convinced that the unspoken villains in today's obesity epidemic are schedules, workloads, workplace stress and unhealthy work environments. So naturally the more events like the one G-Tech hosted the better. Special thanks to United Healthcare for bringing me in.
And a big, big congratulations to our 2010 Boston Marathon running team: Tony Racioppi, 5:22; Tony Blank, 5:52; and Steve Smith, 5:45. Steve ran for his brother Dave who struggled with severe morbid obesity for many years and sadly past away last year. I had the pleasure of meeting Dave in my office back in 2001 during the early days of planning and designing Generation Excel. We wish his family well and commend Steve on his tribute run.
|Desi James, our 3 ½ year old cheered on all the runners from the finish line and got an up close taste of one of the world's most prestigious sports events.
Next up, Team Generation Excel will be at the Playworks 5k Run for Recess on May 22 at Frankin Park. As I said in my last journal supporting play, phys ed and conflict resolution in our schools is one of the longtime goals of our foundation and our partnership with Playworks is one we're very proud of.
We're thrilled to report that it looks like singer/songwriter Kimberly Dahme, who plays bass guitar for the legendary rock band Boston (and is an incredibly talented solo performer in her own right) will be collaborating with us and contributing music to a unique PSA/Music video showing Generation Excel's work around the country with children. We are working on a deal to have Ms. Dahme's 2005 song "I Got You" as the soundtrack for the video which will include footage from 2004's Million Calorie March, 2005-2006's Million Pound Meltdown and 2008's Million Step March campaigns. If all works out you can look for the video to premiere on our Youtube Channel, Facebook page and on this website as well as future GXL live events. Visit Kimberly's website
There's always plenty more going on behind the scenes here at Generation Excel in terms of the Million Calorie Movie and meetings about future campaigns. We'll share the news with you as soon as things become a reality.
And finally a BIG BIG thank you to Gen Excel's Julia Campbell and Russ Surette who after much arm twisting convinced me to put GXL up on Facebook, Youtube and other well known social networking sites in the non-profit world. You can see their great work here:
Fan us on Facebook!
Join our Cause on Facebook
Watch our videos on YouTube
Re-launched movie site
Ahhhh…Spring is finally here (enjoying the 60 degree weather anyone?) and at Generation Excel we're preparing to hit the road for a
series of health and wellness events across the country in places such as Alabama, Connecticut, Rhode Island and right here in the Boston area.
Our fundraising benefit earlier this month with Liam Nation, a brand new start up which benefits special needs kids, was a terrific night. It was great to see so many longtime GXL supporters and friends and the evening's performer Jon Stetson gave a truly heart stopping magic, mentalist and psychic performance. One highlight for me was Nicky Sestitio - the young actor who played me in the "Million Calorie March" movie. Now 17, Nick walked in the door 67 lbs lighter and all grown up into an amazing young man. What a great story he is!
Speaking of the movie we've launched a new website for the film which includes trailers, film scenes, reviews and behind the scenes stories at http://www.millioncaloriemarch/movie.com.
Many have asked about Michelle Obama's Let's Move Childhood Obesity Campaign and if we plan to contact them about the film. Checkmark on that: Thanks to longtime GXL supporter Todd G. Patkin, the "Million Calorie March" Movie is at the White House as I write this.
In other GXL news I'm thrilled to announce our new partnership with Playworks (formally Sports4kids). This innovative and exciting program is currently in 23 schools in Massachusetts and is transitioning recess into a cutting edge type of Physical Education. As most know at Generation Excel we have always lobbied and campaigned for the return of daily physical education to our schools. Playworks is a creative way to do achieve this and as a new board member my goal is to elevate Playworks profile, help it spread to more schools and help achieve more corporate funding. Supporting this program will be a centerpiece if our efforts in the years to come. Visit www.playworks.org to see more.
Later this month on March 28 at the Woburn Country Club we'll be hosting a March Madness Fundraiser for our 2010 Boston Marathon Running Team. This year's runners include Steve Smith (a good old friend of Generation Excel), longtime pal Tony Racioppi and new comer Tony Blank. Come by and enjoy the games, music, raffles and appetizers and support Team GXL. Click here for details.
A photo tribute to the historic 2008 "Million Step March" campaign with Blue Cross has been added to the website. Click here to view it.
Finally - in the absence of a major campaign right now (thank you 2010 economy!) I've been taking advantage of the downtime by working on the follow-up book to "Big & Tall Chronicles". Currently titled "After The March: Confessions Of An Obesity Crusader," the book takes readers on the road with Generation Excel's campaigns in Pennsylvania, the North Carolina and of course our 2004 Florida to Boston campaign. It includes events we've done across the country, the making of the movie, the interesting people we've met, the stories from the front lines of the obesity war and of course my own continued struggle. Looking back at Generation Excel's first 5 years has been eye opening and I've enjoyed it.
Hope to see everybody soon !
DECADE…December 1, 2009
Wow…is it really 2010 already? What happened to 2004? Or 2001 for that reason. That was the year Generation Excel was conceived. So as the decade fades to black here it’s only natural to look back, smile and take a very important lesson from it.
It was the Spring of 2001 and I was sitting in my office in Burlington, Mass., after hours watching the small TV in my office. By then I was on my way to losing the first of what would be 150 pounds and I was researching the obesity epidemic everyday in an attempt to better understand it. As I watched the TV, I wondered where all the health campaigns, PSAs, documentary films, reality shows and community programs were. If this was truly the biggest epidemic to threaten our country (as I was learning) why wasn’t there more being done to help fight obesity? Where was the anti-tobacco type campaign against obesity?
In my heart…I knew that the only good that could ever come from the years I’d battled this disease was to try to do something positive with the experience I’d had. I drew up a blueprint in my office that day of a grass roots Florida to Boston awareness walk which would help raise money for a non-profit I would start called Generation Excel. The hope was that the campaign would spur corporate America and healthcare companies into backing similar “impact campaigns” in various parts of the country. The blueprint included a book about childhood obesity, an inspirational documentary film and a unique non-profit which would award community grants to programs nationally to help prevent future “little Garys”. I imagined a non-profit where concerned parents could call for support, advice or financial assistance to send their kids to exercise classes after school or weight loss camps during the summer. I wanted to create an organization my mother Lorraine “Rainbow” Marino would have called on back in the late 1970’s when her son began to show the signs of the food addiction and emotional eating to come.
That was April 2001. The amazing thing is that as I sit here at the end of 2009 the entire blueprint that I drew up in my office has actually happened. 4 national campaigns, over 200 events, an award winning film, a book, community grants and thousands of inspired people later - the plan has been realized. No matter where it goes from here…that will always bring a smile to my face.
Our Florida to Boston walking campaign reached over 70 million people in the spring and summer of 2004. Along the way we raised funds for weight loss camps for kids, community grants to health programs for inner city children, and helped to fund childhood obesity initiatives from Los Angeles to North Carolina to Rhode Island to Boston.
In 2005 the book “Big & Tall Chronicles” (culled from my personal journals of losing 150 pounds) was published and released via Barnes & Noble Bookstores from coast to coast (with all profits going to Generation Excel).
That spring, Blue Cross Blue Shield - taking notice of my grass roots campaign - backed the first of 3 campaigns I’ve done. The “Million Pound Meltdown” campaign in Pennsylvania was a 2 year effort which resulted in over 52,000 pounds being lost (confirmed by PCPs). Real lives were impacted, which is what Generation Excel was always supposed to be about.
By 2007 we were deep into production of an inspirational and educational film about obesity based on my walk, book and the overall issue of obesity in America. The film premiered in 2007/08 in Boston, New York, The Carolinas, Texas and Florida and won an International “Freddie” Health Award last year. It continues to screen at health and wellness events across the country and currently has broadcast offers from 2 major cable TV networks for the coming year.
2008’s campaign for Blue Cross, The Million Step March, was an amazing 600 mile walk across North Carolina from Asheville to Wilmington with over 6,400 people participating. We produced 60 live events (campaign stops) during the 75 day walk and electrified the community through the media. We also awarded a $75,000 grant to the Girl Scouts during the campaign at the finish line and later that Fall Generation Excel funded 3 more grants to initiatives combating childhood obesity.
This past year, despite the economy and looming healthcare reform, we still managed to do a community wide campaign in Hilton Head, SC with Dr. Howard Rankin, as well as events in Texas, Harrisburg, PA, Palm Beach, Florida and here in the Boston area as well. As always we worked with lots of families and adults helping people to get on or stay on a healthy path. Even our men’s weight loss support, The Knights of Excel, is wrapping up its second year with some real bonefide results. And that folks is what Generation Excel was supposed to be about to begin with.
So the blue print has become reality and America itself has changed right along with us. Today there are obesity campaigns, reality TV shows, PSAs, community challenges, corporate weight loss contests and millions of people working to help turn the epidemic around. This month President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announced a national initiative to fight the epidemic of childhood obesity. No matter where your politics lie…it is simply amazing to see the White House take this issue on. I’m no longer disillusioned.
But the lesson I talked about earlier…and this has nothing to do with obesity or weight loss…is that none of this happened the way we thought it would. None of it. There were more challenges, obstacles and learning curves for this aggressive plan than we ever anticipated. Nothing was easy and none of these opportunities fell into our laps. Yet in the end we learned to expect obstacles, deal with them and just “keep on marching”. I think there’s a lesson there about life in general, don't you think? Expect obstacles. If it’s worth it you’ll get around them.
When I left for our first campaign in 2004, my sister gave me a card which read “ALL KNOW THE WAY…FEW ACTUALLY WALK IT”
At Generation Excel, I’m happy to say we’ve been ‘walking the walk’ for 6 years – and in turn have received incredible experiences and
feeling of accomplishment.
This website is an on-line legacy to those experiences and accomplishments. Feel free to navigate around…it’s all here!
I hope I continue with Generation Excel for many years to come
See you down the road and walk on!
Thanks to everyone who came out to our events this past Spring. I truly enjoyed meeting all of you and appreciate your e-mails since I returned home as well. Although Generation Excel will NOT be on the road producing any major walking campaigns for 2009, we have been busy doing events around the country and catching our breath after last year's barnstorming health and wellness tour across North Carolina.
Big thank yous to the spirited audiences in Galveston Island at the University Of Texas Health Fair (my first ever trip to the Lone Star State).
In Harrisburg Pennsylvania I hosted Highmark Blue Cross's National Walk At Work Day and presented my new talk "It's Not The Wake Up Call...It's What You Do With it" to one of the best crowds I think I've ever spoken to. Having worked many times in Northeastern Pennsylvania for a different Blue Cross Plan - it was good to visit the western part of the state in the Pittsburgh/ Harrisburg area. As I told the crowd after I was introduced..."I know my career is cooking when I'm working both sides of Route 81!
The Palm Beach International Film Festival was a dazzling display of movies, black tie galas, parties and celebrities. On top of it all - it was one of the best run festivals "Million Calorie March" has screened at and the organizers treated us very well. I truly felt like old friends with all the festival producers by the end. When I returned home to Boston many friends back here asked me if I had "walked the red carpet" at the festival. Come on! If you know me by now you all know I'm not a "red carpet" kind of guy. "Million Calorie March" was a labor of love for me. So no - naturally I walked around and entered with the press corps covering the events.
In Gen Excel news - congratulations and thank you to our 2009 Boston Marathon Runners Andrea Melton, Marc Anderson and Jeremy Miner for running on the Generation Excel Team and raising funds for our on-going initiatives and community grants program. We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication.
In other news our "Knights Of Excel" men's weight loss support group (launched a year ago by myself, Gen Excel's Dr. Howard Rankin and Boston Businessman Bob Devasto) continues to grow and has yielded amazing results for many of it's members. The Knights have lost 30, 50, 100+ pounds so far! We've also added a new twist to our weekly Wednesday Night meetings...group workouts at Body By Boyle's Gym in Winchester. The meeting still begin at 7pm in the conference room - where we talk weight loss issues and share information before working out at 8pm. trust me...you haven't lived to you see the Knights Of Excel in a group workout together!
The new edition of "Marching On..." The Generation Excel Newsletter is out and covers everything from our community grants to our major accomplishments over the last year.
Finally - it's hard to believe it's been a year but the spirited 600 mile, 75 day 60 event "Million Step March" campaign (with Blue Cross and Blue Shield) across North Carolina ended almost a year ago in Wilmington. It was a memorable campaign for all of us at Generation Excel and to commemorate the one year anniversary of it's finish-line celebration we came across this media interview I did on "The Henry Hinton Show" in Greenville on WTIB 94.3FM.
Enjoy! And I'll see you this Summer...
Keep On "Marching"
Spring is Sprung at Generation Excel!
Well folks, this time last year Generation Excel launched its biggest and most aggressive campaign to date - 2008's "Million Step March Tour" with Blue Cross Of North Carolina.
Spring is always a busy time for us - and this year we'll be hitting the road in different parts of the country. Hope you can join us if you live in these areas:
April 17 & 18 - 15th Annual Galveston Health Fair, Galveston Island, Texas.
Generation Excel brings its inspiring message of hope to Texas for the very first time. Special thanks to the University Of Texas for bringing me in!
April 20 - 113th Boston Marathon
We'll be at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street to cheer on our 2009 Gen Excel Running Team: Bob Devasto of Winchester, Andrea Melton of Natick, Jeremy Minor of Denver, CO and Marc Anderson of Waban, MA. Feel free to make pledges in their names to Gen Excel if you would like to!
April 24-27 - Palm Beach International Film Festival, FL
One of the great film festivals out there…we tragically missed this last year during the North Carolina campaign but we're thrilled to screen it at this year's festival.
April 28 & 29 - National Walk @ Work Day , Harrisburg, PA
From Palm Beach we go to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to host Horizon Blue Shield's "National Walk At Work Day". Motivational talks and of course employee walks are all part of the agenda (this event is not open to the public).
See you on the road everyone! Stay tuned to this website for more exciting news to come!
February / March 2009
600 turn out for South Carolina Movie Premiere
Hi Gang –
After spending much of 2008 in North Carolina producing Blue Cross’ “Million Step March Tour” it seems like 2009 has been all about their neighbors to the south this Winter.
The Inspiring Wellness campaign in South Carolina launched by Generation Excel’s Dr. Howard Rankin has been going terrific as well, with usually over 200 people from the community coming out to the Tuesday night wellness seminars and Saturday Beach walks. I’ve visited a few times this Winter to address the audiences as well and meet some of the “healthy” success stories. It’s been a wonderful community effort and it’s great to see people really pull together to become engaged in their health. You can visit the website at www.inspiringwellness.org for a look.
Speaking of South Carolina - as I write this I am flying back from the Eat Smart Move More Teachers conference in Bluffton, SC, where I got to talk to teachers about the importance of being good influences on their student’s health. It was a terrific event, and a chance to use my story to try to prevent future “little Gary’s” out there. Special thanks to Jennifer Wright from Hilton Head Regional Hospital for putting the event together and bringing me in. After spending so much time in this state I’ve become convinced that a campaign similar to what Gen Excel has done in the past is needed and would help “light the fire” under countless people of all ages – so we are working on that as well.
Back home in Massachusetts I’ll be speaking at Middlesex Community College (Bedford Campus Center Building #8) on February 25th at 11am. It is part of their “Health Week” activities and I’ll be doing my presentation “It’s Not The Wakeup Call…It’s What You Do With It!” Check it out if you are interested.
Finally, our 2009 Boston Marathon Team is in place and we are excited for them! Winchester’s Bob Devasto – who ran in 2005 for us and appears in the “Million Calorie March” movie will be running again - as well as Gen Excel first timers Andrea Melton of Natick, Jeremy Minor of Denver, CO and Marc Anderson of Waban, MA. Funds raised from this year's Marathon will support on-going efforts of Generation Excel such as our support group and our annual community grants given out to childhood obesity programs (click here for a look at past years grants). Please support these runners by making a pledge or donation in their names.
Well folks - that’s really just the tip of the iceberg here at Generation Excel. There is a lot more in the works and I’ll keep you informed of other happenings in future journals.
Keep on marching toward your health…
January 2009 - History of Generation Excel Launched
Happy New Year everyone!
It's hard to believe, but Generation Excel officially kicks off its 5th year this month. After the whirlwind of 2008 we at GXL can't wait to see what's in store for 2009.
It's a new year so let's deal with all things "NEW":
Next up? Generation Excel also has a brand new logo - featuring a silhouette of yours truly and some children from one of our many stops during 2008's "Million Step March" Tour. T-shirts sporting the new logo are available from GXL for anyone who makes a donation.
|Here are a couple of pictures from The Freddie Awards from late 2008 of Todd, I and Dr. Rankin accepting the statue in Philadelphia which was a big honor and a great night for GXL.
Other things new? "Million Calorie March: The Movie" has signed with a new Producers Representative in NYC. Late last year we began working with Richard Abramowitz of Abromarama. Richard is a seasoned pro and is enthusiastic about the film. He will join forces with our own irreplaceable Laura Yellen to seek out broadcast and Home DVD opportunities for the movie.
What else is new? A shorter edited down version of the movie and new theatrical trailers are on the way as well…compliments of our talented editor Jeff Schmidt.
Okay - in keeping with the "NEW things" theme. We are in the process of putting together a new GXL Running team for this year's Boston Marathon to raise funds for the cause. Let us know if you or anyone you know is interested at firstname.lastname@example.org
The most important "new" development on a personal level is a brand new approach to my health which I have never tried but am currently undertaking. I'll get more into this as the year goes on - but lets say that I am vigorously back in the game and aggressively trying to lose more weight and push my health goals further that at any time since 2004's "Million Calorie March" walk of the eastern seaboard. Staying in the fight is an important of an unfinished struggle - and I am very hopeful and optimistic for my health goals for 2009.
And finally, wrapping up what's new… GXL has opened a new office in Burlington, Mass at 87 Cambridge Street…drop in and say hello if you are in the neighborhood.
Here's to a great 2009 everyone!
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