Skip to main content
July 11, 2022

Awards fund projects that promote community health and wellness

DES MOINES, IA — Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is awarding six communities in Iowa and South Dakota funds ranging between $11,000 and $19,000 as part of its 3-Point Play program with university partners across both states. Throughout the 2021–2022 college football and basketball seasons, each time a successful field goal was kicked, or 3-point basket was made, Wellmark issued a contribution to support unfunded or underfunded health improvement projects. As part of the program, area sports fans were then invited to nominate their hometowns for a chance to win the project funding for their community.

“Since its inception in 2010, Wellmark’s 3-Point Play program has created tremendous value for communities across Iowa and South Dakota, and it’s been inspiring to watch this program grow and positively impact so many people,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark’s marketing activation and alliance lead. “The projects we’ve partnered to fund are actively supporting Iowans and South Dakotans in their pursuit of well-being. By working hand-in-hand with hometowns in each state, we know we’re moving our communities toward a future of better health.”

At the end of the 2022 college basketball season, the nominations were tallied. Several hundred communities were nominated between both states. Funding was awarded to the following communities to initiate or complete a project that promotes a safe, inclusive, and accessible environment for physical activity:


Winning community University affiliation Award amount
Des Moines Drake University $11,340
Danbury Iowa State University $19,020
Miles University of Iowa $18,560
Pocahontas University of Northern Iowa $16,520

South Dakota

Winning community University affiliation Award amount
Bridgewater  South Dakota State University $18,320
White Lake University of South Dakota $12,740

Since the program’s inaugural season in 2010, Wellmark has provided nearly $945,000 for projects that build vibrant, active communities. From bike trails to playgrounds, Wellmark’s 3-Point Play is one of the many ways the health insurer is continuously improving the health of its members and communities.

To learn more about Wellmark’s 3-Point Play program, visit