by Susan Botelho
WALSENBURG — Not long ago, checking the spelling of a word meant flipping through the big Webster dictionary. Now it’s a simple key stroke. Life is easier having the Internet at our finger tips. We used to sit around the campfire sharing our tales, but now we tell stories through videos, sometimes engaging thousands of people with stunning visuals, not just words. LiveWell Huerfano County understands the power of visual storytelling first-hand as the first place winner of the Kaiser Permanente Colorado “Our Community Stories” contest.
The contest consisted of eight Colorado non-profits who were tasked with creating a video story about some aspect of their work. LiveWell Huerfano County chose to highlight Washington Underground Recreation Center and one of its members, Carolyn Minnich. Her great success getting more active was in part thanks to the rec center. Carolyn’s story, featured on the #OurCommunityStories2017 contest, ran during November. Winning the contest was based on social media engagement, where votes were cast in the form of likes, comments, and shares on Facebook.
We called on our friends and community members to help by voting and vote they did! Our video was seen by 19,000 people, shared, liked and commented on hundreds of times; giving us the votes we needed to win. LiveWell Huerfano County took first place, winning not only bragging rights, but a $2,000 community story award for the recreation center from Kaiser Permanent Colorado. We couldn’t have won this without the help of everyone who voted! We are proud of the community engagement and LiveWell Huerfano County thanks everyone for this honor.
Kaiser Permanente responded to our win as well, saying, “When we launched this grant challenge, we had no idea it would be received with such enthusiasm by all the communities involved,” according to Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, Kaiser Permanente Colorado vice president of government, external relations, and research. “We’re proud of LiveWell Huerfano County’s efforts and want to thank all of their community members for supporting this challenge. We hope the grant will help LiveWell spread their story to more members in this vibrant community.”