Workout contest benefits Food Bank of the Rockies |

Workout contest benefits Food Bank of the Rockies

Thirteen teams of three took part in the HI2T for Hunger competition at The Aspen Club & Spa on Saturday. Personal trainer Dirk Schultz said he estimated the event would raise at least $12,000 this year.
Michael McLaughlin/The Aspen Times |

Give the people a chance to work out and help a local nonprofit, and they will come.

That’s what Dirk Schultz was hoping when he put on the first HI2T for Hunger fundraiser last year and raised $6,100 for the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies.

Schultz has been an instructor and personal trainer at The Aspen Club and Spa for 10 years and is a firm believer in high-intensity interval training, also referred to as HIIT or HI2T. The popular workout features intense, anaerobic, sweat-inducing intervals that incorporate a wide range of movements followed by rapid recovery periods.

“I just wanted to do more with the HI2T program and reach out to the community,” Schultz said. “I decided, ‘Why not put together a great workout as a fun competition and turn it into a fundraiser?’ We’re benefiting a great organization in the Food Bank of the Rockies.”

The HI2T for Hunger fundraiser consists of teams of three people who take part in a series of high-intensity interval challenges. Each team pays $100 to enter. Teams also raise money through donations and a silent auction that took place during the event.

“This year, one team alone raised $7,000,” Schultz said. “Our goal is to raise at least $12,000 this year, which would nearly double what we raised last year. Every dollar we raise equals four meals at the food bank.”

The team that raised the $7,000 was Team Hooker Parade, consisting of members David Lusk, John Thew and Mimi Scott.

The competition winners were broken into several categories. The top overall scoring and winning men’s team was the “A Team” with members Adam Rothberg, Damien Williamson and Stephan Iomsa. The top women’s team went to “Gone Girls,” made up of Kathy Welgos, Estes Gould and Larissa Pauli.

There was a tie for top co-ed team between the “Eight o’Clocks,” with Ripley Thomas, Seth Turik and Charlotte Marolt, and “Team Wow,” with Bill Fabrocini and Nercij and Becca Tudor.

Mike Losordo, a warehouse supervisor for the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies, was all smiles at the fundraiser.

“This is such a great event,” Losordo said. “The proceeds really go a long way in helping the food bank. It’s awesome how they combined the health aspects of this event with really helping out our organization and all the people we serve. Dirk is very passionate about this and brings a personal aspect to helping fight hunger.”

Schultz said he knows there’s a need for programs like the food bank. He said that when he was growing up, his mother worked seven days a week and they often would accept help from a similar organization.

“Unfortunately, there’s a need for nonprofits like the Food Bank of the Rockies,” he said. “In Colorado, one out of every four children doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from. Even more startling is that 42 percent of the people the food bank helps are under the age of 18. There’s a stigma with kids and families that use a free lunch program or food stamps. I know what it felt like when I went to get my lunch ticket when I was younger. Being able to access a food bank relieves some of that stigma.”

After the event, the teams hung out together and shared stories about the event. Despite the overwhelming number of people who commented on how sore they were, the real sentiment was how happy the participants were to help a needy cause.

“This is now an annual event that will benefit our community,” Schultz said. “Those benefits will stay here on the Western Slope. It’s a win-win situation.”

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