Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
January 22, 2010 Issue
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"The Wild Gardener"
Peter Loewer's Weekly
Column in the Democrat

"The Mouth That Roars"
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"Inside Out"
Jeanne Sager's Weekly
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John Conway's Look Back at the History of Sullivan County

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You lose, food banks win

By Jeanne Sager
CALLICOON — What if every pound you lost in 2009 put food in the belly of someone who would otherwise go without?
The folks behind what they hope will be the biggest fundraiser for Sullivan County’s food banks have dubbed their project “Sullivan County’s Biggest Loser.”
But organizer Jim Caruso doesn’t see anyone losing with this one.
The premise is simple: show up at FlexAppeal Gym at the Villa Roma anytime between Tuesday, Feb. 3 and Monday, Feb. 16.
Stand on the scale, have your weight recorded and hand over a $10 entrance fee.
Then work out. Eat right. Get moving.
You can do it at a gym or at home. You can sign up at Flex Appeal or go back to your neighborhood workout center. You can join Caruso’s Bootcamp Challenge or challenge yourself by tromping around in snowboots in your backyard.
For 12 weeks, Caruso and Flex Appeal Gym Manager Christine Dolce want residents of Sullivan County to get healthier.
Then they’re calling them back to the gym for one more weigh-in.
The money collected at the outset of the project will be split 50/50 – with half going straight to the food banks of Sullivan County.
The other half will be split down into prizes, with 25 percent plus a six-month membership to Flex Appeal going to the participant who has lost the highest percentage of weight by Saturday, April 18.
The “loser” in second place will earn 15 percent of the money and a three-month membership to the gym, while third place will earn someone a one-month gym membership and 10 percent of the cash.
Everyone who enters will earn 10 percent off a gym membership and 10 percent off of Caruso’s Boot Camp Challenge.
“We’re not making a dime from this,” Caruso said. “I just feel really, really strongly about this – especially as someone who let himself go and became obese.
“I think when people have a goal in mind, it gives them impetus,” he continued. “And when you wave a cash prize in front of them, especially in this economy…
“I had that life-changing moment when I couldn’t get out of the chair to play with my grandkids,” Caruso said. “I speak from a standpoint of been there – I can give them something to fight for.”
For more information or to get involved, call Flex Appeal Gym at 887-4880, ext. 7504.