Golden shoe awarded in summer walking challenge

Patty Riefe
A plaque with a golden sneaker goes to the parish with the most steps during a walking challenge by parish nurses and health ministers each year.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf earned the golden shoe plaque for a month-long parish walking challenge among five parishes in the Davenport Diocese. The 18 participants from St. John Vian­ney walked an average of 85,219 steps per person per week for the month of July.

Our Lady of the River Parish in LeClaire placed second, with 27 participants achieving 82,784 steps per person per week. Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf placed third with 58 participants achieving 82,739 steps per person. Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport placed fourth with 47 participants achieving 79,648 steps and St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport placed fifth with five participants achieving 52,652 steps, according to Patty Riefe, the walking challenge coordinator. She serves as parish nurse for Our Lady of Lourdes and Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Participants engaged in other physical activities in addition to or instead of walking. A conversion chart allowed them to convert their other activities — such as bicycling, swimming, gardening and running — into steps.


“I was really pleased with the participation this year. It was great to be able to sign up parishioners in person again this year. We received a lot of positive feedback for the program,” Riefe said. “It is so easy to just track your steps for one month. It is motivating and the challenge between the parishes makes it a fun incentive. I think most of us work a little harder if we have some kind of incentive. Knowing you are going to report your steps at the end is a good incentive.”

Some parishioners were limited in their participation because of health issues or surgery, for example, but still did what they could “and that is what it’s all about. Moving more and keeping healthy.” Riefe would love to see more parishes join in the challenge next year. “It’s easy and fun.”

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