Mayor challenges and a friendly competition ensues


Around 70 Orange City fitness enthusiasts came out to register for the sixth annual Mayor’s Fitness Challenge.

The 10-week program culminates in cash prizes based on the highest percentage of reduced body weight.

Susie and Mike Wallaker, 56 and 66 respectively, signed up and paid the $25 registration fee. It’s their first time out for the challenge.

“It’s great. It’s awesome,” Ms. Wallaker said.

When asked how much she was hoping to lose, she said, “20 pounds.”

Mr. Wallaker piped up, “She wants to lose one more pound than me – that’s all.”

“It’s a contest,” she said.

Each of the participants got weighed in and had their measurements taken by employees of the Wellness and Rehabilitation Center at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial. Other fitness and nutrition experts were there as well.

Mayor Gary Blair was on hand for the event. He noted he lost 16 pounds the first year he participated and last year eight pounds, and kept it off.

“It’s very important,” he said. “It’s not only about weight loss, it’s about fitness. We get very excited about the program. I’d like to lose 10 pounds. I don’t stress myself about it. (The challenge) got me into the physical fitness aspect.”

The program includes access to Latow’s Fitness Gym twice weekly, a walk with Mayor Blair at 5 p.m. every Monday at Mill Lake Park, online boot camps three times weekly with Carey Wilson, a group bike ride sponsored by JCs Bike Shop, Zumba twice weekly at Just Dance and Fitness, line dancing, one free week at Darkwolf MMA and discounts for a meal prep delivery service, Fit Meals with E Bear.

“Everyone is from Orange City,” said Danielle FitzPatrick, public information coordinator.

Ms. FitzPatrick said the top three men and top three women will receive $400 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place. It’s based on the highest percentage of body weight lost. Participants are not eligible for the cash prize if they won a cash prize in 2017.

There’s also a…

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