Video History of Generation Excel
Burning Calories Across the Nation…For a Healthier Generation
At Generation Excel we believe that information alone does not change people. The massive amount of information available today in America concerning health, dieting and exercise, coupled with the sobering fact that obesity rates continue to skyrocket (70% by 2020) backs us up in this belief. What's more, we contend this mountain of information overload and conflicting advice on obesity has only made it harder for millions of Americans desperate to embrace a healthier and more vital lifestyle.
Information does not change people.
So what does change people?
Generation Excel believes that inspiration, motivation, education, proper support and tools, when coupled with the correct information, gives people a fighting chance. We've seen this every year since 2004 when Generation Excel founder Gary Marino - fresh off a 150 weight loss - launched our first campaign: a daunting, first of its kind cross-country walk from Florida to Boston combining all of the elements we believe changes people. It reached over 70 million people and continues to inspire to this day.
That was 2004. In the years since Generation Excel has produced 3 major "impact campaigns" on health (see below), a unique documentary film on obesity and hundreds of events nationwide. We've also awarded community grants to programs from Los Angeles to North Carolina to Boston. When individuals have contacted us desperate for one on one support we have helped them as well. Our men's weight loss support group "The Knights Of Excel" operates in both Boston and Hilton Head SC and is free to the public.
Our Foundation Newsletter, "Marching On" is produced annually and is circulated nationally.
A large percentage of the energy and resources of Generation Excel goes to our awareness campaigns. 2004's grassroots effort, The Million Calorie March, was a 1200 mile, 100 day walk from Florida to Boston by Gary Marino. Conceived as a "walking and talking tour" of the eastern seaboard, "The March" made stops at YMCAs, media outlets and health center aimed at inspiring the American public to "dig deep" to build exercise and healthy eating into its lifestyle. In the end the campaign reached millions of people thanks to appearances on ABC's "Live With Regis & Kelly" FOX News, USA Today, People Magazine and scores of radio, TV and print stories.
In 2005 & 2006 The Generation Excel Team hit the road again - this time with Blue Cross Of Northeastern Pennsylvania for the unprecedented "Million Pound Meltdown" campaign. A TV and Media campaign designed to get that area's residents healthier, "The Meltdown" combined weight loss challenges, group walks, media appearances and dynamic live events in 13 counties (resulting in over 52,000 pounds lost as confirmed by primary care physicians). As part of the campaign, Generation Excel helped put together a televised "Town Meeting On Childhood Obesity" which aired on the local NBC/CBS affiliates WBRE & WYOU.
Much of 2007 was spent "off the road" and in post-production with Studio G Motion Pictures on a film about Obesity In America. "Million Calorie March: The Movie" is a 95 minute documentary and docudrama which represents the continuation of the Generation Excel Campaign Mission: awareness through unique, colorful and unconventional approaches. The film follows the life of GXL founder Gary Marino and explores the back story of adult and childhood obesity in the United States. It premiered in Boston, New York, Florida, Texas, the Carolinas and other locations, to great reviews. After being screened on the film festival circuit the film has been offered a broadcast deal with a major cable TV network.
In 2008, at the request of Blue Cross Of North Carolina, Marino and team Generation Excel recreated the Florida to Boston Walk as a brand new walking and fitness campaign for that state. The 600 mile, 75 day, mountains to the coast "Million Step March" across North Carolina kicked off in Asheville and traveled 12 miles a day though seven media markets. On the road with Marino and Blue Cross Spokesperson Kathy Higgins was a mobile wellness tour featuring healthy cooking demonstrations, motivational talks, and fitness competitions. The campaign barnstormed the area with over 60 interactive live events and in the end over 6000 people joined the walking challenge to walk over ½ billion steps.
In January 2009 Generation Excel joined our longtime friend, mentor and GXL Board member Dr. Howard Rankin to create "The Inspiring Wellness Campaign". Launched exclusively in South Carolina, the campaign provided 8 weeks of free seminars, film screenings, beach walks, guest speakers and weight loss challenges to the community. 2009 also saw Generation Excel spread its mission to different areas of the country such as Texas, West Palm Beach, Harrisburg, PA among others.
We've only just begun. The Generation Excel Team is hard at work with plans for 2010. Our commitment is stronger than ever and we are focused like a laser beam on areas we feel we can make not only a difference… but a lasting contribution to this epidemic of Obesity.
Generation Excel is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation
Generation Excel, Inc.
Gary Marino, Founder
87 Cambridge Street
Burlington, MA 01803