Local business encourages employees to "Scale Back" for a cause

By Katie Herrera

BIRMINGHAM (WBRC) - Scale Back Alabama kicked off its 5th year in January. The state-wide, weight-loss competition drew more than 30,000 people to drop almost 200,000 pounds last year.

But this year, one local employer is taking it one step farther. Integrated Medical Systems (IMS) is calling their challenge "Scale Back-Give Back." For every one pound an employee loses, the company will donate $1 to the Jimmie Hale Mission.

IMS allows their employees to have 30 minutes of exercise time "on the clock" everyday. The company has also provided work out facilities just across the street from their offices.

FOX6 caught up with one group of workers working out Tuesday afternoon. They quickly shared their excitement for the challenge – especially their team names. From the Fattlesnakes, to Girls Gone Fit, to the Exercists, IMS employees were sweating off the pounds.

"I've lost five pounds on Scale Back Alabama," explained IMS team Exercist member Danielle Presswood.

But as they checked the scales, the workers were happy to know that means more money for the Jimmie Hale Mission.

"It sort of gives it a purpose," said IMS Fitness Manager Laurie Mayson."While we are eating less food and less meals, we are providing more meals and more food for our neighbors at Jimmie Hale Mission."

Jimmie Hale Mission Executive Director Tony Cooper stopped by the IMS workout Tuesday to say thank you, and it was not long before he was on a bike machine, too.

"A lot of people think of us during the holidays – fourth quarter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And here we have IMS thinking of us some other time of the year. Homelessness, hunger and poverty are not seasonal issues, they're year-round concerns," explained Cooper.

And hearing that was enough to make Presswood pedal just a little harder.

"I think about the people who don't have and would love to sit down and have a meal with their family. And it makes me work even harder," said Presswood.

IMS currently has 88 employees signed up for Scale Back Alabama.

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