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Students win visit from ‘Biggest Loser’

By Kimberly Jordan kjordan@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:58 PM

Students at Watertown Elementary School will get a visit from Biggest Loser finalist Joe Ostaszewski on Wednesday.

Ostaszewski, who lost 147 pounds and was a finalist in season 14 of the hit show, will be speaking to fourth and fifth graders at the school to encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle. The visit is part of Ostaszewski’s “Riding It Forward,” a 2,900-mile bike ride across nine states. 

He is partnering with National 4-H Council to engage 4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, in the effort to mobilize and motivate American youth.

He will stop in Watertown to motivate local 4-H youth at the school to take the pledge to live a healthy lifestyle and join the fight against childhood obesity.

“Obesity is a serious, chronic disease that is threatening the lives of millions of Americans, but I am living proof that there is a cure,” said Ostaszewski, Biggest Loser finalist and co-founder of the Wear Your Soul Project. “The focus of my Wear Your Soul Project is equipping today’s youth to live healthy, active lifestyles, which aligns perfectly with the mission of 4-H to empower young people to tackle urgent issues and Marucci Sports’ commitment to engaging youth in physical activity.”

Watertown was chosen for its active 4-H program. 

“Wilson County was chosen by the Tennessee State 4-H office,” said Shelly Barnes with the UT Extension Office in Wilson County. “He’s making seven stops in Tennessee.

Johnny Barnes, who is the coordinator for the Wilson County 4-H program, chose Watertown because “they are so active in 4-H. Every fourth grader and every fifth grader is in 4-H. Watertown is historically a big 4-H school,” said Shelly Barnes.

The 2,900-mile trip across the country began July 31, and will end Sept. 26 at the Biggest Loser Ranch in Calabasas, Calif.

Barnes said 15 children will get a door prize promoting physical activity. Those children will be invited to “make a pledge to healthy living and sign their name on the “Riding it Forward” RV that will travel with Ostaszewski across the nation.

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