For a lot of people, today will culminate a lot of work for a group of volunteers who simply go by the name "Blue Crew."
Committee members from the state's Blue Zone's Initiative will visit Spencer today, taking part in the site visit after the community earned one of 11 designated sites.
So, we want to welcome our guests to the city we happily call home. We are known for internationally famous Dewey The Cat and the World's Greatest County Fair - the Clay County Fair. We have a rich and thriving arts culture and a treasured historic district, both of which have earned natural designation. Soon, we hope to add Blue Zones Demonstration Sites to the things we can be proud of.
I suggested in the opening paragraph, work for the Blue Crew will culminate, following today's big meeting. That's not exactly true. Should Spencer earn a Blue Zones Demonstration Site designation - as it certainly should - their work is only beginning. The only difference is, the Blue Crew will be receiving guidance and support from experts in the field of building Blue Zones communities.
The exciting part for many of the volunteers is the notion that Spencer, if selected, will become not only a Blue Zones Community, building healthier and happier citizens, but as the official name suggests, it will be a demonstration site.
Spencer volunteers, who I will recognize as some of the greatest volunteers in the state - C'mon, a community of 11,000 helps host over 300,000 guests at its county fair for nine days each September, is there really a question? - Are ready to step up to the challenge. I think they've proven that with all they've done so far and continue to do.
Business leaders, community leaders, medial partners and private citizens have joined hands and stepped forward, stating for those who are in town to listen today, that we are indeed ready to help lead the state. We are ready to join Gov. Terry Branstad, and the Blue Zones organizers, in helping propel Iowa to the top of the staircase when it comes to healthy states, even if we have to do it one step at a time.
So unlike signs for construction sites, suggesting you need to slow down and proceed with caution, as I bid you welcome to this potential Blue Zones site today, I would ask you to charge full steam ahead.
Spencer is a Blue Zones Demonstration Site.