The Company That Banned Birthday Cakes

Want to hear something shocking?

Barnone, the call center located in Winterplace Park has just banned birthday cakes.

Are they hard-hearted Scrooge-type people who just don’t want anyone to have any fun?

Actually, the answer is more interesting. Oh, and fair warning, by the time you learn it, you might even want to copy them.

$5000 Healthy U HUEY Awards

The reason Barnone has banned birthday cakes has to do with a competition.  They are competing for one of the five $5000 Healthy U HUEY Awards. These are prizes that will be awarded in the Spring of 2004. They will be given to the business, non profit, church, educational institution or governmental agency that has done the most to support healthy lifestyles.

The winners of this year-long competition will be announced in the spring of 2004. Our own Community players are already planning a mammoth Academy Awards-style ceremony to celebrate the event.

The employees at Barnone are serious competitors for the HUEY. They’ve come up with a number of strategies that will make them strong contenders. The birthday cake idea is the most dramatic.

The 140 members of Barnone , like most of the rest of America, are concerned about weight. But they face a compounding problem because their jobs are almost entirely sedentary.

Knowing that being heavy is a risk factor for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, the employees came to a startling conclusion. Giving a slice of cake to someone who’s battling a weight issue isn’t a very nice birthday present.

After all, a two inch piece of chocolate cake with a thick creamy icing can easily be 450 calories.

Today, instead of birthday cakes, people at Barnone will receive something that’s delicious, healthy, low calorie, high fiber, and that will add to their health rather than harm it. It’s a fruit basket that they can share with their colleagues.

The changes made at Barnone

Stephanie Martin, the Office Manager at Barnone, reports that she and her fellow members of the Barnone Healthy U Crew have:

Started a weekly Healthy U newsletter
Set up a Healthy U Booth at Barnone to share information, including distribution of the Healthy U page of the Monday Style Section of the Daily Times
Started after-hours activities including a walking club and weekly volleyball games
Initiated a Cook-Off competition for the healthiest and tastiest recipes
Started their own Monthly Drawings to reward people for healthy behaviors
The Barnone Monthly Drawings are both imaginative and original. The winner gets two free lunches, including one for his or her Healthy U buddy. The lunch is a choice of a Veggie Sub from Subway or a salad from Wendy’s or McDonalds, plus fruit juice or water.

But the food isn’t the best part of this monthly award. The Festive Repast is delivered and served at their own table complete with table cloth, a fresh flower and relaxing music. The Barnone Healthy U Crew does things with style and flair.

If your organization would like to compete for one of the five $5000 HUEY Awards, make sure that your members enroll in Healthy U before the April 30th deadline. Enrollment takes roughly 4 minutes a person, and Healthy U volunteers can come to your organization to do the enrolling, typically during lunch time.

For more information, contact Healthy U Executive Director, Wendy McGill at 410 742 9202 or e-mail her at

Stephanie Martin’s Wish List

We wish our employees success in this competition, not only so they can win the HUEY, but something far more valuable, greater health.

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