25 years ago, the town of Pound went on Slimfast

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POUND, Wis. (WBAY) -- In 1992, Pound, Wisconsin—population 434—went on a diet.

160 residents took part, claiming free food from Slimfast, along with incentive prizes, sometimes money, treadmills, mountain bikes, t-shirts and more.

“Slimfast came to Pound because they were really interested in the name Pound. They thought that would fit in with losing weight, losing pounds,” said Donna Salewski who lost more than thirty pounds on the Slimfast diet.

"That's when Slimfast was just kind of a new thing. They were just coming out with Slimfast at that time,” said Gail Korpi, who lost 27 pounds on Slimfast preparing for her wedding. “And there's another Pound in another state—and it was between this Pound and that Pound to do this—and they chose our little town which is kind of cool!"

"They gave us bikes, they gave us a scale, but they gave us gifts for doing this and then we had all the food, we'd just go to the store and get all the Slimfast food for nothing,” Salewski recalled. “Snacks, pretzels, candy bars, ready-to-drink, and the mixes, Slimfast mixes."

Paul Kust told us, “Some people didn't like the taste. And there were strawberry I think, the ‘Chocolate Royale’ which was my favorite, I think there was a vanilla that really tasted like chalk.”

"Now I'd throw up. Because you did so much of it, oh my god you did it for years!” said Korpi.
People tell us the small town was taken over by executives from New York who made it seem like Pound was the set of a movie. Some of them starred in commercials and even started receiving fan mail.

"I had people writing me letters wanting money from all over the country because I lost more weight than anybody and they thought I was a very wealthy man,” said Allen Salewski who lost 100 pounds and kept about 40 of them off. He was the only one Action 2 News spoke with who kept off the weight.

“I lost the most weight of any man in town!” he said.

But what really people remember is how good it felt to be doing something together.
"We'd have our slim fast together at noon. It was like a little Slimfast party, which was neat,” said Donna Salewski.

“Not a lot happens in Pound, and I think that's why with Slimfast, to pick this tiny little town because it was named Pound—it was just like amazing! Out of all the United States and they pick Pound, Wisconsin. That was pretty cool,” said Korpi.