Hunger games: Hi2t at the Aspen Club hosts hunger benefit Saturday | AspenTimes.com

Hunger games: Hi2t at the Aspen Club hosts hunger benefit Saturday

Abby Margulis
Special to the Aspen Times

Hi2t, a fitness program at the Aspen Club, will play host to a friendly competition Saturday aimed at fighting the hunger epidemic in the U.S.

In its inaugural Hi2t for Hunger event, the club will host 10 teams of three in a series of five high-intensity interval challenges and later conduct a silent auction. Proceeds collected from the $100 entrance fee and money raised during the auction will go directly to the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies, an organization that provides food to needy children.

"There is such a need in Colorado (to feed children)," said Dirk Schultz, creator and lead trainer at Hi2t. "I wanted to do more.

Hi2t, which stands for high-intensity interval training, is a fitness class offered at the Aspen Club. The class first became available last fall. It is a six-week group-fitness training class offered to Aspen Club members. Combinations of aerobic and high-performance exercises work together to improve individuals' endurance and athletic abilities.

Hi2t is not just a fitness class, though. Schultz realized he could do more than just help people improve their fitness levels and he could make a difference with Hi2t. He wanted to take this exercise program out into the community and give back to those in need.

Choosing to donate to the food bank was an easy decision for Schultz after working with Feed America for many years and having benefited from the food bank himself.

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"It's amazing how far a dollar goes towards food in the food bank," Schultz said. "A dollar in the food bank is about four meals per family."

In Colorado, 1 in 7 people does not know where their next meal will come from, according to the 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture survey. The Western Slope Food Bank serves 42 percent of children younger than 18, and 10 percent are children 5 and younger.

The food bank, located in Denver and the Western Slope, is the largest private hunger-relief program in America helping children. The bank provides food and supplies to more than 1,000 hunger-relief programs across the state, according to its website.

Meredith McKee has formed a team with two of her friends to participate in the competition this weekend. She has been a member of the Hi2t class for some time and has loved the workout and the trainers. When the competition was announced, she had no hesitations about joining in the fun.

"We're all competitive, so we thought, 'Why not compete against other teams?' and it's for such a great cause, which is an added bonus," McKee said. "Living here in the valley, we're so fortunate, and (this is a great opportunity) to help out those in need in the area."

Participants will have many options throughout the day to walk away with prizes. Winners of the fitness portion will each receive three months of membership free at the Aspen Club. Hi2t also has reached out to many local businesses that have come on board to donate prizes for the auction. These winners could walk away with lift tickets donated by Aspen Skiing Co., a painting from Royal Street Fine Arts Gallery or a night's stay at the Viceroy Hotel and Resort in Snowmass.

Organizers of the event encourage all community members to come out to offer support and experience their first exposure to Hi2t.

Carlie Umbarger, sales and marketing director at the Aspen Club, looks forward to seeing this event take off.

"We want to see what everyone is made of and write a big check to Western Slope," Umbarger said.

Schultz and all the contributors hope to start a tradition Saturday and host an event sponsored by Hi2t to stop hunger in the years to come.

Abby Margulis is an editorial intern working at The Aspen Times. She is a junior at DePauw University in Indiana.

Where: The Hi2t Pit at the Aspen Club

When: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

Events: Team competition and silent auction