SAN ANTONIO, Texas — H-E-B here awarded $18,000 to three contestants in its second H-E-B Slim Down Showdown who made the greatest gains in health improvement and fan engagement during a three-month period.
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Brittany Ward of San Antonio won the grand prize of $10,000; Brad Westmoreland of New Braunfels won the $5,000 “fan favorite” prize; and Juan Ramirez of San Antonio won the $3,000 “healthy hero” award. Ward, an occupational therapy graduate student at the University of Texas Health Science Center here, lost 34 pounds, dropped her cholesterol by 62 points and attracted 6,308 comments on her blog.
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Hailing from all over Texas, the 25 contestants in this year’s showdown lost more than 700 pounds and showed off their healthier frames to hundreds of supporters in a “makeover reveal” ceremony at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center here. In addition to weight loss, the contestants significantly improved their health biometrics and penned 990 blogs, generating 38,636 comments and hundreds of thousands of page views.
H-E-B determined the grand prize winner using three metrics – overall health improvement, participation and fan engagement. “Change is possible when you commit,” Ward said in a statement. “We’ve got to change the world. We’ve got to start putting our health first.”
This year, H-E-B held its Slim Down Showdown contest for employees at the same time as the customer contest and included 12 employees in a joint finale celebration. Ruben Cavazos, a grocery manager from Austin, won the $10,000 grand prize with a weight loss of 90 pounds and a decrease in body fat of 19%.
“Their dedication to the contest and willingness to share their experiences is so inspiring,” said Craig Boyan, president and chief operating officer of H-E-B. “We are very proud of our contestants and know they have the potential to be health and wellness ambassadors for the state of Texas and H-E-B.”
Dole is the presenting sponsor for the 2013 Slim Down Showdown; additional sponsors include Metropolitan Methodist Hospital, Gold’s Gym, Avocados from Mexico, watermelon.org, Organix, the Hilton Hill Country Hotel & Spa, Brita, Fleet Feet and Uncle Sam.
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