TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- The city of Tupelo has lost some unwanted pounds and gained a $50,000 grant.
It's all part of years of an effort to get as many residents as possible to live healthier.
But what exactly does it take to become the "Healthiest Hometown" in the state as designated by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation?
The city has tried the last couple of years to win the title. The first year they won $25,000. Last year they didn't win anything.
Organizers said it was the diversity of the programs that landed the big win.
"This year we focused more on what were city employees doing. What were the schools doing. What were the different businesses in Tupelo doing. So it was kind of a culmination of all that," said Hank Boerner, member of the Mayor's Healthy Tupelo Task Force.
Leaders said they hope the increased awareness would encourage citizens to move toward a healthier lifestyle and exercise more.
For city worker Pat Falkner, he said he is committed to walking the stairs daily.
"It's made a difference in how much exercise I get. You know some days we are here a long time and if I didn't do that I might miss exercising that whole day," said Falkner.
He said while he has always taken steps to live a healthy life, it wasn't until city workers were challenged that walking the stairs became his exercise of choice.
There are a total of 54 steps to climb in order to get to the top. As far as how long it takes Falkner to get there, he said it depends.
"It depends on whether it's the first time up or the tenth," said Falkner laughing.
Mayor Jack Reed Jr. said the $50,000 will be used to further more programs aimed at health and fitness.