by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

The Boldest Thing I Ever Did… enhance health, promote a program, reinforce a successful campaign, attract new people to a service. Every wellness manager has a fun story to tell about a zany act that was out there. Here’s one from my days at The Dow Chemical Company.

Each January through April in the late 1980s we ran a fitness program called Presidential Sports Award, with an awards breakfast at the conclusion to honor individual and team accomplishments.

Being from a solidly conservative, GOP community, we thought it would be safe to invite President Reagan to be a guest speaker for the affair. Turns out he had other commitments. But that didn’t stop us. We bought a Reagan mask, recruited a bunch of guys in suits to be Secret Service men (complete with sunglasses and ear pieces), rounded up some walkie-talkies, and played Hail to the Chief as part of a surprise visit skit at the awards ceremony.

It was probably the corniest thing we ever did, but it was hilarious. And the 300 in attendance gave the "President" and his entourage a standing ovation as they headed for Air Force One.

What does this have to do with health? Other than being good for a few laughs, not much. But that single act of goofiness made 300 people feel like a community because we cared enough to entertain them in recognition of their health achievements. The goodwill created by those award ceremonies and other silly stuff we did made the program fun and brought people back — again and again.

What’s the boldest, corniest, goofiest thing you’ve ever done in wellness?


# Lee Dukes 2017-12-28 01:46
Great story! Too often we ignore the power of fun. I can't remember a time when I stopped doing something because I was having too much fun.
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