The Governor’s Fitness Awards

Presented by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports and the Michigan Fitness Foundation, the Governor’s Fitness Awards (GFA) recognize communities, organizations, and individuals who inspire healthy choices. Nominated by Michiganders, the GFA finalists are then selected by a panel of judges and announced each spring.

This year, GFA finalists will be recognized on April 25, 2019, at the Michigan State Capitol in the morning and winners will be revealed at the evening at a gala, which takes place at MGM Grand Detroit.

The gala is open to all, and tickets are available by clicking the button below.

The Event

  • 5:30 pm

  • April 25, 2019

  • MGM Grand Detroit
    1777 3rd Ave
    Detroit, MI 48226

The Awards

Accepting the Challenge Award

The Charles T. Kuntzleman Accepting the Challenge award recognizes individuals who have overcome extraordinary challenges to pursue a healthy and balanced life and who, in turn, serve as a role model for others. Help us honor those who have succeeded despite setbacks. The 2019 finalists are:

  • Johnny and Jeff Agar, Rockford
  • Gregory Barnier, Livonia
  • Jackson Rahrig, Haslett
Active Community Award

Imagine a community where people can walk or bike to work, to school, or to run errands. A place where families play together in parks and greenspaces and where neighbors wave to neighbors with a sense of connectedness and community pride. The Active Community Award is given to a community that creates this kind of vibrant, healthy environment. The 2019 finalists are:

  • City of Huntington Woods
  • City of Mackinac Island
  • Waterford Charter Township
Active Senior Award

This award recognizes and honors our most seasoned citizens, those who keep moving and stay active even when it would be easier to take a shortcut. Help us honor active Michiganders by nominating someone who inspires you day in and day out through their determination to put one foot in front of the other, regardless of age. The 2019 finalists are:

  • Cynthia Erickson, Lansing
  • Harrison Hensley, Pickney
  • Michael Lemerise, Utica
Conquering Obesity Award

Individuals recognized in this category have made the tough decision to lead a healthier life in order to overcome a health issue. They have dedicated themselves to finding balance in nutrition and physical activity in their daily lives. They lead by example, encourage others to make positive changes to improve their health, and continue to honor their own commitment on a daily basis. The 2019 finalists are:

  • Douglas Church, East Lansing
  • Debra Lawrence, Bay City
  • Carlos Orosco, Zilwaukee
Director’s Champion for Health Award

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director’s Champion for Health award acts to ignite and support positive community change, specifically encouraging physical activity and healthy eating across the lifespan. This champion works to develop programs, processes, messaging, and infrastructure in their community and shows how they have affected the lives and health outcomes in Michigan’s most vulnerable populations. The 2019 finalists are:

  • Lila Lazarus, Orchard Lake
  • Kathy O’Mara, Brooklyn
  • Mary Patay, Mackinac Island
Extraordinary Event or Organization Award

This award honors events and organizations who provide opportunities for Michiganders of all ages and skill levels to try different forms of activity, develop physical fitness skills, and gain a better understanding of health in a safe and welcoming environment. This honoree offers fun, safe, and innovative physical activity events or programs with no barriers for participation, creating a positive environment for all to pursue a physically active life. The 2019 finalists are:

  • Battle Creek Community Foundation – Operation Fit, Battle Creek
  • League of Michigan Bicyclists, Lansing
  • St. Clair County 4H & Youth Fair – Eat Your Ag, Port Huron
Healthy Workplace Award

Every year, Michigan work sites large and small take that extra step, spend the extra dollars, to develop innovative concepts which help create a healthier workplace — and consequently helps their employees to be fit, healthy, and more productive. To honor such efforts, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports and the Michigan Fitness Foundation bestow the Healthy Workplace Award on organizations with outstanding programs that promote healthy living and create best practices for others throughout Michigan to emulate. The 2019 finalists are:

  • Small/Medium
    • Edgewater Bank, St. Joseph
    • RPT Realty, Farmington Hills
    • Stevens Van Lines, Saginaw
  • Large
    • Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU), East Lansing
    • WK Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek
    • WW Group, Farmington Hills
  • Very Large
    • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit
    • Grand Valley State University, Allendale
    • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor