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Storm Receives Washington Health Foundation's Heroes of Health Award

November 13, 2008


SEATTLE - The Washington Health Foundation announced today that the Seattle Storm is a recipient of this year’s Heroes of Health “Healthy Living” Award for the Storm’s work to educate young people about the importance of fitness and nutrition. The award will be presented at the Foundation’s 2008 Heroes of Health Gala this Saturday, Nov. 15, at Bell Harbor International Conference Center. During the 2008 season, the Storm partnered with PCC Natural Markets, Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Washington State Nurses Association and the Washington Health Foundation to host a series of clinics aimed at educating children about the value of leading a healthy lifestyle. At the clinics, children visited four stations – staffed by Storm players – that focused on areas ranging from cardiovascular and strength training exercises to nutrition and healthy food sampling.

"We know that Seattle Storm players are powerful role models on and off the court, and by partnering with others we can play a role in strengthening communities and help individuals across the region," said Anne Levinson, chairperson of Force 10 Hoops L.L.C., owner of the Storm. "We developed the initiative as a way to reach out to young people to help them make changes that will lead to life-long improvements in health. We are honored to receive this recognition from the Foundation for our work on behalf of our partners and our players."

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The Washington Health Foundation gives out its Heroes of Health Awards each year to people or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to create better health in Washington state. Twelve hundred organizations, 400 schools and nearly 40,000 individuals are participating in the Foundation’s Healthiest State in the Nation Campaign – making it the largest civic engagement campaign for health in state history.

"The Seattle Storm’s willingness to spread shared nutrition and physical activity messages throughout community folds perfectly into the goals of our Healthiest State Campaign, which is focused on making Washington the Healthiest State in the Nation by engaging individuals, organizations and schools in healthy behaviors," said Greg Vigdor, President & CEO of the Washington Health Foundation. "We understand that to reach people, we need to meet them where they are, and the Storm’s Fit clinics are the perfect engagement strategy, featuring friendly coaching, a fun atmosphere and prizes, coupled with star power. We are proud to recognize the Seattle Storm with one of our 2008 Heroes of Health Awards."

The Storm will continue to focus on fitness and nutrition and literacy in 2009, beginning with its Be Fit initiative featuring Seattle Storm player and WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes. The Storm has sponsored fitness-related programs in Puget Sound since the team’s inception, with a focus on educating youth about the value of a healthy lifestyle.

About the Washington Health Foundation:
Since 1992, the mission of the Washington Health Foundation (WHF) has been to improve health for the people of Washington. Today, the WHF’s vision is to make Washington the Healthiest State in the Nation. More information is available at www.HealthiestState.org.

About the Seattle Storm:
The Seattle Storm, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2009, is one of seven independently owned teams in the WNBA, the world’s preeminent women’s professional basketball league. Established in 2000, the Storm is committed to bringing outstanding professional basketball to a diverse and rapidly growing fan base. The team also plays an active role in promoting literacy, health and fitness, support for women and girls and youth basketball in local communities.