New England Dairy & Food Council hosts Stars Among Us Gala for 10th anniversary of youth wellness program, Fuel Up to Play 60

Author: Molly McKendry, MS, RD, LDN
football press conference

Foxborough, MA – On the evening of Thursday, May 9th the Stars Among Us Gala, hosted by New England Dairy & Food Council, was held at the Putnam Club East at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The fundraising gala was held to celebrate the tenth year of Fuel Up to Play 60 in New England and to honor a select group of individuals whose impact on health and wellness in their schools has led to significant changes in the lives of students.

The almost $50,000 raised from the event will be used to expand the reach of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, which is supported locally by New England Dairy & Food Council and by the dairy farm families of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and eastern New York.

Expanding the program’s reach translates into more opportunities for schools to start or enhance school meal programs (breakfast or lunch) as well as summer meal programs; increase access to nutritious foods served during the school day; promote physical activity at school; and offer dairy farm-to-school educational experiences and resources to students.

On Thursday, gala-goers had the chance to meet and chat with several special guests, including New England Patriots mascot Pat Patriot and cheerleaders, alumni players Steve Nelson and Pete Brock, and current player Devin McCourty. Devin is a former New England Fuel Up to Play 60 Player Ambassador (2013-2017) and a forever champion of the youth wellness program.

“It gives students a voice to make positive changes in their schools. I was an ambassador for the program for five years not only because it promoted eating well and exercising, but because it empowered students to want to lead healthier lives.” McCourty said of the program.

After dinner, awards were presented to the Stars Among Us Gala honorees. One of these awards went to Jaclyn Galvin, an alumna of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program who recently finished her first year of college. Galvin shared with guests during a speaking panel that her involvement in the program, which began in 6th grade and led to numerous public speaking and leadership opportunities at the local and national level, helped shape her decision to study communications in college.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school wellness program that encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy, and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. In the past ten years, this student-led, evidence-based program has helped more than 1.7 million kids and 3,600 schools across the region eat healthier and become more physically active.

For more information about Fuel Up to Play 60 and New England Dairy & Food Council, visit our website and follow @NewEnglandDairy on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

More Information

About New England Dairy & Food Council

New England Dairy & Food Council (NEDFC) is a registered 501©3 non-profit organization staffed by registered dietitians. NEDFC has built a legacy of supporting healthy kids and student academic success through science-based nutrition education resources and wellness interventions. Our primary youth wellness initiative, Fuel Up to Play 60, combines healthy eating with physical activity and student leadership to provide a comprehensive program schools can use to make sustainable healthy changes to their wellness environment. NEDFC is a state and regional affiliate of the National Dairy Council® (NDC). For more information, visit

About Fuel Up to Play 60

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), with additional partnership support from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. Customizable and non-prescriptive program components are grounded in research with youth, including tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website and student challenges. Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit to learn more.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

About NFL PLAY 60

In October of 2007, the NFL launched NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness campaign focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. Over the past decade, the NFL has partnered with leading academic, scientific and nonprofit organizations, including the American Heart Association, National Dairy Council, Special Olympics, Shriners Hospitals for Children, St. Jude, and the United Way, to help children of all abilities lead healthier, active lives. Since the launch of the campaign, the NFL has committed more than $350 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for PSAs; the NFL and its clubs have supported programs in nearly 73,000 schools nationwide, giving more than 38 million children the chance to boost physical activity levels and build a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. The NFL and its partners are committed to continuing the PLAY 60 movement for an active and healthier generation for years to come. For more information, visit

About the NFL Players Association

The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through 2020. Learn more at


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