The fourth annual Sunbury Challenge 4 Health, hosted by Sunbury Community Hospital and the City of Sunbury, finished with participants taking the first step in new, healthier lifestyles by dropping more than 100 pounds in four weeks.
The challenge saw a total of 125 pounds lost by its 50 participants in the month of June. This amount of weight lost will be matched in dollars to be donated to local food pantries to help those in need.
"The hospital and city are proud to be able to have kick-started a healthier lifestyle in participants by encouraging daily exercise and healthy eating habits," said Joseph Stender III, director of marketing and public relations for the hospital. "But not only has the challenge made a positive impact on the health of its participants, but in our community in general with the food donation."
It also was announced that the hospital's Healthy Woman Program was named the winner of the team challenge. Seven teams competed to see which could lose the highest percentage of weight during the four-week challenge.
The Healthy Woman team won by losing 2.3 percent of the team's starting weight. Teams from Central Susquehanna Opportunities Inc. and the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce made it a tight race for the team challenge, coming in second and third places respectively.
"The Sunbury Challenge 4 Health allowed our team members to focus on what truly is important: our health. Our team was dedicated to making changes to our lifestyle to accomplish our goal of living a healthier life. We felt like winners just by participating in this program," Barbara Aucker, director of Healthy Woman, said.
Those who participated in the event saw it as a resource for the community.
"This is a nice way for the hospital and city of Sunbury to remind us all to stay healthy," said Keri Albright, a member of the hospital's Board of Trustees and President/CEO of the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way. "As we get older, pounds tend to creep on, and communitywide efforts like this make it fun to lose extra weight because we are losing together, and for a good cause. The Trustees of the Hospital are like anyone trying to maintain a healthy weight, so we were excited kick-start our personal weight loss goals by joining the Challenge 4 Health."
Organizers have begun planning for next year's challenge and will look to involve even more community members in the health initiative.