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Local Resident Plans Fitness Fundraiser

As she plans a family-friendly obstacle course for a nearby hospital, Ayo Hart is putting the “fun” back into fundraiser.

The Pound Ridge resident is the co-chairperson of this spring’s first annual Northern Westchester Hospital FitQuest , an event aimed to promote wellness, designed for families with elementary school-aged children. The obstacle course will be May 12 at Chappaqua Crossing in Chappaqua and will feature activities building flexibility, balance and cardiovascular strength. There are also volunteer opportunities available for high school juniors and seniors as well as adults.

“It’s something the entire family can enjoy," Hart said. "As a parent, you’re usually on the sideline cheering the kids on.”

To help plan the different stations for FitQuest, Hart took suggestions from physical education teachers in the area, as well as two people who know something about kid-friendly fun—her young daughters, Madison and Victoria.

“I bounced some of the ideas off of them, too,” she joked.

Hart says she decided to help plan FitQuest because she recognizes that Northern Westchester Hospital is a nonprofit organization that partially relies on the support of the community, which many people do not realize.

“I’m the kind of person where if I’m excited about something, I talk about it,” she said. “Supporting Northern Westchester Hospital means something to us because it’s in my backyard.”

Her most important task now is getting her friends and neighbors to sign up. She has reached out to area school districts like Yorktown, Lakeland, North Salem and Katonah-Lewisboro to spread the word.

Local businesses have already started to jump on the bandwagon, though. Hart and her team have garnered support from Grand Prix New York in Mount Kisco and Julio Bicycles Inc. in Chappaqua. Dolphin Organics, the organic product company Hart co-owns, will also supply participants with water bottles. And WeeZee World, a new sensory experience facility set to open in April at Chappaqua Crossing, has signed on as the exclusive backpack sponsor.

Aside from her volunteer hours with Northern Westchester Hospital, Hart is the assistant coach for the girls' varsity basketball team at Mount Vernon High School and is now an advocate for Friends of Karen, an organization providing support for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Click here to sign up for Northern Westchester Hospital FitQuest May 12 at Chappaqua Crossing in Chappaqua. If you’re interested in sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, please email fitquest@nwhc.net .

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