Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, kidney failure, blindness, and more. It affects more than 25 million Americans, including nearly one in every four children. WT sophomores Peter H. and Alexa L. are determined to put a dent in those numbers with the Pound-A-Thon, a fundraiser they created to benefit the American Diabetes Association.
“We wanted to do something different,” explains Peter, a dedicated athlete who plays WT basketball, tennis, and lacrosse. “And especially with diabetes we wanted to showcase that exercise is good for you, it can be fun, and you can do it with your friends. I work out a lot…and we want to spark that (interest) in kids and get them started on physical fitness.”
Raising awareness is also important, he notes, and the Pound-A-Thon—which takes place on Saturday, August 25, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Fit FX in Harmarville, PA—is designed to do just that. Peter credits his trainer Josh Berthold, co-owner of Fit FX and a former Marine who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, as key to the event. “Josh is a really big, fit guy, and he’s a Type 1 diabetic himself. Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t exercise and live a normal life.”
Physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight are vital in fighting diabetes, and the Pound-A-Thon promotes both. Children six years and older and adults are invited to obtain donation pledges for their participation in exercises geared toward multiple skill, age, and fitness levels – from walking and jogging laps, push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups, to traditional weightlifting exercises such as bench presses, squats, dead lifts, pull-ups, timed abdominal planks, and more.
“All of the money is staying in western Pennsylvania, and it will benefit kids,” says Peter. “That’s our main thing: we want kids to help kids. The money will go to a diabetes camp for children called Camp Soles in Rockwood, PA.”
Peter and Alexa spent much of the summer organizing the fundraiser, from brainstorming ideas and designing flyers and a logo to consulting with ADA officials on how to structure the event.
“It definitely taught us we need to plan ahead and be organized,” acknowledges Peter. “Before doing this, I’d…never reached out to companies and people and asked for their support. It makes me realize that in the real world…you have to work hard and give up time to get things to work out the way you want them to. It’s made me realize how grateful I am, and...when you work, it’s not just for yourself, it’s for the benefit of other people.”
“I am very proud of the work Pete is doing to help such a worthy cause and believe in the importance of these efforts,” remarks Director of Athletics Kevin Miller. “He and his classmates put our motto into action by doing so much to help others and we couldn’t be more proud of their work.”
”The most rewarding thing will be giving our check to the American Diabetes Association and seeing kids benefit from all of our hard work,” says Peter. “We plan on doing more if this (event) goes well.”
For more information on the Pound-A-Thon or to download pledge forms, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fit-Fx/197180100310296 or http://www.getfitfx.com/index.html
Forms will also be available on the day of the event.