Osceola Mayor Running Across Iowa to Raise Fitness Funding

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OSCEOLA, Iowa  --  The Mayor of Osceola has issued a challenge to help his community raise money for a new recreation center.

He is challenging the community to raise $250,000 by August. If that happens, he will run from the Minnesota border across Iowa to the Missouri border, for an approximate total of 225 miles north to south.

Thomas Kedley has been the mayor of Osceola for two years and understands the importance of healthy lifestyle. He weighed over 300 pounds while in high school, and has since changed his lifestyle and lost over 150 pounds.

“I’m half the man I used to be that’s for sure,” said Kedley. “The big mission and the goal here is Osceola, It ranks 98th out of 99 (for healthy population), that’s an epidemic.”

Kedley made his challenge in Des Moines while on a media tour to promote the campaign.

The challenge from Kedley is to raise money to get the rec center project underway. There is not yet a total price tag, but a consulting firm is at work putting together a plan.

“The end goal for this is to provide a public facility for quality of life for all Osceola citizens,” said Kedley. “We have a little over 5,000 constituents so we’re looking just to provide a year-round facility for quality of life for them.”

Kedley and his wife Becca have started a foundation to raise funds for the project called Operation Recreation.

The city has also posted a video in hopes of winning a grant to help with the rec center costs. A Community Thrives is an online competition in which communities submit videos describing improvement projects. Visitors to the website can vote on the projects, and the winners receive grants of up to $100,000. You can find Osceola's video here.

Anyone who wants to talk to the mayor about the project can call him at 563-249-1330 or email him at kedleyt@gmail.com.

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