The Mayor’s Walking Challenge was a family affair in Caribou County.
Two of the 83 mayors who participated in the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health program this month are from this Eastern Idaho county: Grace Mayor Jackie Barthlome and Bancroft Mayor LuCus Spencer.
The two are related. Barthlome is Spencer’s aunt, and she recruited him to participate when he became mayor about two years ago.
“She told me to get registered and start walking to earn money for the kids in the community,” Spencer said.
Spencer used his earnings last year to support the local 4-H program and to fund a ski trip for middle schoolers.
“To hear how much fun the kids had was worth it to me,” he said.
Barthlome has supported elementary schools and funded the junior high archery program, as well as the local Little League by purchasing new equipment.
“The look on the kids’ faces when they see the equipment is priceless,” Barthlome said.
The relatives are close and see each other at least a few times a month. And yes, there is some good-natured ribbing about who has taken more steps.
“I like to rub it in to my aunt about how many steps she is ahead or behind me,” said Spencer, who gets a lot of steps at work and also hunting.
Spencer took more than 395,000 steps in October, with Barthlome not too far back with 356,000.
“We give each other grief about walking and steps, but I will never be able to keep up with his steps,” Barthlome said. “I walk about my city and see things that we need to work on – roads, weeds, etc. I feel so much better when I get up and walk first thing in the morning. I enjoy the morning freshness and visiting with people.”