BRISTOL - Bristol Central High Schoolâ€™s InterAct Club is inviting the public to join in the clubâ€™s second annual HOPE (Helping Others Passionately and Enthusiastically) Charity Fitness Challenge.
The event is planned for Saturday, March 16, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Healthtrax, 842 Clark Ave. Registration and breakfast start at 8 a.m. A $50 minimum donation is requested. There will be raffle drawings afterward.
Fitness instructors at HealthTrax have volunteered to instruct a dozen classes over a three-hour period. Participants are urged to sign up as soon as possible to reserve a spot in their choice of classes.
Last yearâ€™s event raised $9,300 and divided it among five local nonprofits: For Goodness Sake, a nonprofit that provides furniture and household goods to people transitioning from homelessness to independent living; EveryBunny Counts, which rescues and rehabilitates abandoned and neglected pet rabbits; Brianâ€™s Angels Homeless Outreach; Bristol Special Olympics; and Operation Fuel, which ensures that families in need have access to year-round energy assistance, said club advisor Kelly Monahan-DiNoia.
â€śFor this event, we specifically wanted to select charities that are local, have no paid positions, and are run solely by volunteers,â€ť she said. â€śIn donating to such charities, our monies can go a long way. When the charity doesnâ€™t have to pay staff, when volunteers are doing the work purely from love and the goodness of their hearts, our financial donations go exactly where we want them to go - to the population in need.â€ť
Monahan-DiNoia said the sponsors this year are: Starling Physicians, â€śour platinum sponsor for the second year in a row;â€ť silver sponsors: Tracy Driscoll Insurance & Financial Services, Teamsters Local 677, and McFee Foundation.
Breakfast comes from Harvest Bakery, refreshments are by Coca Cola, â€śand a special thanks to Diamondback Bikes for donating the Diamondback Haanjo for our raffle. This incredible road bike retails for over $600,â€ť she said.
The BCHS InterAct club formed back in 1998 and is a junior division of the Rotary International Club. InterAct is Rotary Internationalâ€™s service club for young people ages 14 to 18.
â€śEach year, the club completes countless community service projects, both at the local and national and/or international levels,â€ť Monahan-DiNoia said.
In addition to the Charity Cycle Challenge, the clubâ€™s activities include: the annual Powder Puff football game, the Mr. BCHS comic male beauty pageant, and The Great Pizza Challenge, she said. â€śWe volunteer regularly at the Bristol Boys and Girls Club, Indian Rock Nature Center, and at the Bristol Senior Center.â€ť
â€śThrough these efforts, InterActors develop a network of friendships with local and overseas clubs and learn the importance of: Developing leadership skills and personal integrity, demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others, understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work, and advancing international understanding and goodwill,â€ť Monahan-DiNoia said.
She noted that over the past 20 years, the BCHS InterAct club has raised at least $8,000 per year for a variety of charities. In addition to those that have benefitted from the Charity Cycle Challenge, these include:
nâ€ŠThe American Cancer Society,
nâ€ŠThe Make-A-Wish Foundation, which honored BCHS InterAct in 2016 for donating more than $25,000 over the years.
nâ€ŠRotary International, to provide polio vaccinations to children in Indonesia and Africa and to build two water filtration plants in Ghana.
nâ€ŠPlainvilleâ€™s St. Philipâ€™s House for HIV positive families.
nâ€ŠThe Bristol Hospital Cancer Wing.
nâ€ŠThe Bristol Boys & Girls Club Cambridge Park satellite club.
nâ€ŠThe American Red Cross.
nâ€ŠThe Sandy Hook Fund.
nâ€ŠProtectors of Animals.
nâ€ŠSt. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital.
nâ€ŠThe Connecticut Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
To register, or for more information, visit hopecharityfitnesschallenge.com. The first 100 registrants get a free T-shirt.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.