FIRST PLACE WINNERS—The Thelma Lovette YMCA team “The Turnups.” Standing with the winning team are: E.J. Heckert, far left, a few of the Thelma Lovette YMCA staff members and Tom Baker, on the right. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

Middle school students at YMCA branches across the Greater Pittsburgh area showed that they’ve read their health books, studied their fitness facts and beefed up on their nutrition knowledge at the annual UnitedHealthcare Health Bee at the  Thelma Lovette YMCA.

Now in its second year, the UnitedHealthcare Health Bee is a “Jeopardy”-style quiz competition designed to get middle school students excited about health, fitness and nutrition.  The winning team was awarded $2,000 from UnitedHealthcare for their YMCA branch to support programs that combat childhood obesity.  The second place team received $1,000 and the third place team took $500 back to their branch.


SECOND PLACE WINNERS—The East Suburban YMCA team “Healthy Bees.” Standing on left are E.J. Heckert, Tom Baker and team adviser Shawn Haupt is standing in back.

Seven teams of students and their families from YMCA branches throughout the Y of Greater Pittsburgh participated. In attendance were: Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; Dr. Karen Hacker, director, Allegheny County Health Department; Allegheny County Councilman Tom Baker; Rig Riggins, chief executive officer, Y of Greater Pittsburgh; and E.J. Heckert, vice president of sales and account management, UnitedHealthcare.

Studies have shown that middle school is a critical time in teens’ development. It is during which they begin to form health habits and develop attitudes about self esteem and body image that will last into adulthood.  The UnitedHealthcare Health Bee builds on programs offered through the Y of Greater Pittsburgh to engage students in a fun way as they learn to make choices about health, nutrition and physical activity that lead to a healthy lifestyle.



THIRD PLACE—The Penn Hills YMCA team. Standing with them are: Tom Baker, left, E. J. Heckert, in the back, and to right is the team adviser Kayla Gilkey.


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