South Orange Launches First Quarter “SO Healthy” Campaign #SoHealthySelfie

by The Village Green
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From the South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA):

To boost healthy community activities during the winter, the Township of South Orange Village, South Orange Village Center Alliance, and Seton Hall University are partnering to launch a SO Healthy Campaign this quarter. The campaign seeks to encourage our community to team up and adopt consistent healthy habits during the first three months of the year. Habits that will persist and serve to optimize community health and wellbeing for years to come. Prizes will be awarded for creative and successful social media posts sharing healthy choices, and community groups that demonstrate outstanding progress during the campaign will be recognized. Participants can visit the SO Healthy Idea Board on Facebook to compare notes, celebrate successes, and keep an eye on the competition.

“It takes from 21 days to almost a year to form a new habit; on average, about two months. Forming new habits is easier when you have a base of support from like-minded friends and family. Community interaction and friendship is a health habit in and of itself,” said Donna Coallier, Village Trustee, avid runner, plant forward eater, and chairperson of the Health & Public Safety Committee. Walter Clarke, Village Trustee who bicycles all around town to keep fit and reduce his carbon footprint, added “Making biking or walking a part of your daily life helps you stay healthy while getting what you need to do, done!”

Julie Doran, SOVCA Executive Director, is working with Village Family Medicine and Atlantic Health System as a sponsor for the initiative and is engaging the broader downtown business community for further support and involvement. “We have a number of health-oriented businesses downtown, with planned prizes and healthy product offerings during these first few months of 2020. Participants seeking prizes should follow SOVCA @sovillagecenter on Facebook or Instagram to enter to win our #SoHealthySelfie contest.”

Diane Lynch, Director, Health Services, and Fahim Abedrabbo, Associate Director, Government and Community Relations, from SHU also shared their thoughts: “Helping our Seton Hall students and community develop healthy habits is an important focus for us in Health Services. Promoting healthy habits not only supports student success, but it can help set the stage for a happier and healthier life. We are very excited to have the opportunity to join our local community in this year’s SO Healthy campaign and feel it’s a great way to kick off the New Year.”

Volunteers interested in driving the SO Healthy campaign should reach out to Donna Coallier . The campaign is seeking help from health experts and influencers to generate enthusiasm, lead community groups, cheer on participants, and help with logistics. Businesses looking to donate prizes or coordinate healthy activities for participants should reach out to Julie Doran.  For more specific information on the SO Healthy campaign go to the South Orange Village website at

How to Participate in the South Orange SO Healthy Campaign:


  1. Form a “community group” of local friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, or other affinity group and jump into your Q1 healthy activities.
  2. Post healthy individual or group photos to Facebook or Instagram. Include the hashtag #SOHealthySelfie, another that identifies their self-identified subcommunity (e.g., #setonvillage, #sovillagehall, #SHUfinancedepartment, #sofiredepartment, #firstbaptistchurch, #somagirlscouts, #orangevalleyarts, ) and that of our sponsors #AtlanticHealth and #VillageFamilyMedicine. Be sure to also tag a South Orange business if they were part of your SOHealthySelfie activity.
  3. Visit the SO Healthy Idea Board on Facebook to brainstorm healthy activities, celebrate your successes, and to keep an  eye on the competition.
  4. Follow SOVCA @sovillagecenter on Facebook or Instagram to enter to win prizes for creative and widely viewed social media posts.
  5. Demonstrate and publicize outstanding progress over the quarter that we can recognize in a proclamation at an upcoming Village Trustee meeting.

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