“I can tell how much it meant to you, you’re still getting tears in your eyes,” General Manager Deb Osza remarked as I shared my experience.
One year ago, I began my role as the Public Relations and Child Nutrition Coordinator for the American Dairy Association Indiana Inc. That muggy August morning, as I walked toward my desk, I never could have imagined what would soon follow.
My first week on the job, I shadowed my boss, Jenni, and as we drove up I-69 toward a Rotary Club meeting in Munice, I asked, “Are these the kind of events you get to do on a regular basis?” Looking back, I clearly had no idea how involved my role within the company would be.
Over the course of 365 days, I have traveled down dirt roads I never knew existed, spoke in school classrooms filled with curious minds, attended NFL-sponsored events & sat in the stands at the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
I’ve handed out pints of chocolate milk to those looking to Refuel after a run, watched tortoises race while children cheered, toured a food pantry large enough to fit 4 football fields, and walked toward better wellness with a great group of women.
I’ve been given a rare opportunity to work for 1200 dairy farming families across the state– spreading the word of nutrition in schools so often overlooked. Through Fuel Up to Play 60, I’ve listened to countless stories from concerned community supporters looking to make a corporation-wide shift toward a healthier lifestyle. With the Indianapolis Colts by our side, I’m grateful for the enthusiasm and gift of great athletes (& mascots) who support our initiative through leadership both on and off the field.
Whether it’s on a dairy farm, in a gymnasium, on a news set or standing on turf, no day is ever the same– it’s one of my favorite things about this industry.
We are constantly communicating, constantly brainstorming, and constantly activating plans to make this state, and those residing in it, aware of the benefits of dairy in diets.
I never realized the impact of this opportunity as the PR & Child Nutrition Coordinator until I was standing on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium before a game. As I watched 10 of our Fuel Up to Play 60 students get introduced on the jumbotron, our beloved Colts mascot Blue came up to me for a hug, “Hi Brooke!” was all it took for it to sink in. “How did I get here?” was the question that kept resonating that Sunday, and I’m still not sure I have the right answer.
All I know is I am immensely grateful that, each and every day, I get to enter into a building splashed with milk, I get to work alongside 8 gifted individuals, and I get to spread the word of health & wellness.
Has it been a great professional year? Most definitely the best of my life.