The look of shock on Vincent Holencik’s face was priceless on March 22 when he was called to the floor of the Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School gymnasium.
As the staff and student body roared with applause, health teacher Mike Minarchick handed the freshman a Disney balloon with a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal.
At first, he was confused, but then he started to catch on.
Holencik was named the grand-prize winner of this year’s Nutrition Habit Challenge — and a trip for four to Walt Disney World.
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Created by One on One Fitness owners Bruce and Kym Burke, the NHC and the NHC School Challenge are annual wellness campaigns that encourage local students and residents to participate in healthy challenges.
Holencik’s nutrition habit challenge was to eat breakfast every morning for the length of the challenge. Because he was successful for 26 days, Holencik was entered into a drawing for the trip to Disney.
The Saturday before the school assembly, the Burkes held an event to draw the name of the winner; but Holencik wasn’t in attendance.
When attempts to contact him were unsuccessful, the idea for the schoolwide surprise assembly was born.
It took about two days for Minarchick to plan the event, with only a handful of people knowing what he was doing.
Schoolwide surprise assembly held to announce Vincent Holencik was winner of trip for four to Disney
“It was pretty incredible to see and be a part of it all, but extremely hard to keep it a secret,” Minarchick said with a laugh. “I was contacted by Kym who said Vince was our grand-prize winner and was like, ‘We need to do something that is a total surprise to him and the rest of the school.’ ”
This was P-O’s first year participating in the challenge.
“It’s really big for the district moving forward to help more people get involved and bring a lot of positively to the community,” Minarchick said. “Hopefully next year our numbers will jump.”
It’s really big for the district moving forward to help more people get involved and bring a lot of positively to the community. Hopefully next year our numbers will jump.
Mike Minarchick, P-O health teacher
Minarchick said common student goals included drinking more water and less soda, and increasing daily fruit and vegetable intake.
Among the 150 P-O student participants, about 50 were successful, Minarchick said. Participants had to complete his or her goal for at least 25 days in February to be considered successful and entered for the grand prize.
We created the NHC and NHC School Challenge to educate and inspire members of our community to make better choices not only with their diets, but also their exercise habits and lifestyle choices.
Bruce Burke, owner of One on One Fitness
“We created the NHC and NHC School Challenge to educate and inspire members of our community to make better choices not only with their diets, but also their exercise habits and lifestyle choices” Bruce Burke said in a statement. “We have a strong desire to educate young people and inspire them to make healthy changes to their lifestyles.”
In its fourth year, NHC had 4,179 participants with 29 percent reporting success, according to a report from the Burkes.
Our Lady of Victory and St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy were the winners this year of the overall NHC School Challenge.
Finishing second was Bald Eagle Area, followed by State College and Penns Valley area school districts. P-O placed fourth.
This challenge is a great opportunity to build up the school community, while instituting positive change and lifelong health.
Will Morse, dean of students/athletic director at OLV
“This challenge is a great opportunity to build up the school community, while instituting positive change and lifelong health,” Dean of Students and OLV athletic director Will Morse said. “The students become very motivated when they see their adult teachers and mentors participating. It also shows the power of change, as one small tweak to diet or exercise can make a monumental difference in health that we otherwise may not have noticed or implemented.”
According to a report from One on One Fitness, each school received $250 to be used toward their school’s wellness program and a traveling banner to display in their schools.