Sundance Vacations is a Step Ahead of the Rest

Sundance Vacations is a Step Ahead of the Rest

Fourteen members of the Sundance Vacations’ family will be high-stepping it at Hilton Head’s Island Beach and Tennis Resort in South Carolina for what is, in essence, their steps.

The four-day junket to Hilton Head was awarded to seven, two-member teams that excelled in the Sundance-sponsored “Sole Survivor” contest, which kicked off or better yet “stepped off” in May of 2014.

The contest required Sundance participants to wear a Fitbit zip, a device that counts every step that is taken, for a five-month period. Those taking part could run, jog, bike or walk to register all of their steps.

“Sole Survivor” is just one of the many healthy mind-healthy body events sponsored by Sundance Vacations, a wholesale vacation company headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

“We conduct these types of initiatives to help promote better health for our employees.  We believe healthier workers are more productive and more conscientious,” said Tina Dowd, who along with her husband, John, co-founded Sundance Vacations.  “Of course, we also want the end result to be a healthier lifestyle.”

With this in mind, John and Tina Dowd as well as Sundance Vacations were the recipients of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Healthy Workplace Award for such health-minded endeavors as “Biggest Loser,” the “Sundance Smokeout” and of course, “Sole Survivor.”

The award was presented Friday, Oct. 31, at the chamber’s “Healthy Workplace, Healthy Community” breakfast at Genetti’s Best Western in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Keynote speaker was Wico van Genderen, president and CEO of the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. Joining the Dowds at the breakfast were three randomly selected Sundance employees who are still using their Fitbits. They were Jeff Warchal of the accounting office; Lisa Molendini of Hazleton days, and Brian Swank of Shamokin days.

The “Sole Survivor” contest proved to be quite successful as nearly 400 Sundance employees signed up to step it up.

Those heading to Hilton Head will stay at the Island Beach and Tennis Resort from Nov. 8-11 and will be “wined and dined” for their exceptional performance throughout the five-month period, which ran from May through September.

Topping the list of winners, as defined by the total number of team steps were Rose Yanko and Jerry Kishbaugh from Wilkes-Barre’s dayshift marketing office. The team outdistanced the second place team by more than one million steps, due to the yeoman’s effort turned in by “Marathon” Rosie, who logged the majority of her steps by running. Of course, Kishbaugh did his part to help keep up the winning pace.

Rounding out the top three teams were Pat Martin and Melissa Yeager of the Hazleton dayshift marketing office, second place; and Amanda Heffelfinger and Laura Bailey of Tamaqua’s dayshift marketing office.

Three other teams were selected randomly from the top 50 percent as defined by the total number of team steps throughout the duration of the contest. Also heading to Hilton Head are Tatiana Indica and Patty Kieler from the Downers Grove sales office, fifth place; Shawn Jetton and April S. of Wilkes-Barre’s IT department, 11th place; and Stacy Snively and Duane Curtis of the Downers Grove office, 22nd place.

A President’s Choice award was presented to Teresa Blakely and Becky Finkel of Shamokin’s dayshift marketing office, eighth place. They received the award for being the team that best exemplified the spirit of the contest and also will be part of the Hilton Head entourage.

In the event any of these teams cannot make the Hilton Head trip, four alternate teams have been selected and will be reached out to in the order they were chosen.

Due to unforeseen circumstance, three original “Sole Survivor” winners, April S., Laura Bailey and Becky Finkel had to pull out of the Hilton Head excursion. Two Sundance employees, Teresa Blakely and Amanda Heffelfinger, partnered to open the door for one of the alternate teams to attend. They are April Blendick and Monica Gensel of the Hazleton dayshift marketing office.

For their efforts, the winning Sundance teams will receive air transportation, condo accommodations, time off with pay, meals and a full slate of fun activities. There will be a welcome party, night at a comedy club, Segway tour, night at a jazz club and wine-tasting tour, among others. As you can see, it pays to be healthy and engaging in activities to improve your health.

Now, here are the numbers. The Sundance teams logged close to 4,000 miles during the “Sole Survivor” contest. The overall grand total of steps taken was 346,032,294.

A further monthly breakdown of steps is as follows:

  • May: 136,301,892
  • June: 76,252,451
  • July: 53,860,553
  • August: 43,296,796
  • September: 36,320,602

“Sundance Vacations takes pride in its effort to promote health and well-being for its employees. But, it also transcends that aspect in that we want to reward those who go above and beyond in their efforts. We want to make it worthwhile for those accepting the challenge of bettering themselves from a health standpoint,” Tina Dowd emphasized.

To read more about the Great Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Healthy Workplace Award, visit their website here.

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