For the Lofton family of suburban Philadelphia, the family that plays together stays together. And it was a photo of the family at play that launched the Loftons into the national spotlight this past weekend as the winners of Quaker’s National Make the Play Photo Contest.
The Lofton family snapshot of mom Michelle, dad Andrew and children Andrew Jr., Lauren and Thomas at play caught the attention of the judges. The Lofton’s photo of their obstacle course, based on the American Ninja Warrior television show, clinched the top prize out of 1,000 entries.
The Loftons and 50 of their close, personal friends turned out at the YSC Sports Center on Warminster Road in Hatboro to claim their prize and were treated to breakfast courtesy of Quaker and a visit from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and his one-time Stanford teammate Zach Ertz, tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles. Luck says when he learned that he was coming to the Philadelphia area to meet the Loftons, he extended an invitation to Ertz to tag along and participate in the play day. From there as Luck would have it the planets were in the right alignment for everything to work out.
Was he apprehensive or nervous to travel to Eagles country? Not at this time of the year and according to Luck “with the Colts only scheduled to meet the Birds in the pre-season,” he felt comfortable during the visit. Furthermore this was the third year the popular quarterback participated with Quaker in the project.
Quaker partnered with Fuel Up To Play 60, the nation’s largest in-school wellness program and the NFL to help families and communities understand the benefits of physical activity and proper eating. The Colts’ number 12 said children today are not as active as in previous generations when outdoor play, whether kicking around a ball or hitting a ball with a stick, was commonplace. Rather he says kids are prone to sit in front of the television and play video games after school and on the weekends rather than go outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and get in some physical activity.
According to a recent study by Mintel Business Market Research on family leisure trends, nearly nine in ten parents consider activities that involve movement and physical activity superior to other leisure activities but still four out of ten parents wish that their children were more active.
The 25-year-old Luck says he was eager to get involved with the initiative because of his desire to spread the word about starting each day with a nutritious breakfast and staying active. The QB added that Quaker’s mission is great in “trying to bring the message of a healthy lifestyle and being active,” and that is “something that I believe in.” The football star hopes by his participation he can inspire parents not only in Philadelphia but across the country to think about making good nutrition choices when it comes to eating and to have families get and stay active.