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Leaders launch competition to lose weight

Ingrid Mezo
The Gazette

(2/23) Thurmont town officials will begin a weight-loss competition March 1 to raise money for local charities.

Board members each picked a charity and will seek sponsors to donate money for each pound they lose from March 1 through the second week of July, in time for the annual firemen’s carnival.

To donate

Call the Thurmont town office at 301-271-7313, or e-mail commissioners individually to donate to the weight-loss competition for charity.

Town officials have not yet determined how they will name the winner of the competition, but have discussed either using a percentage of weight lost or the total pounds lost. Heftier board members would be at an advantage if the winner is determined by total number of pounds lost, Commissioner Glenn Muth said.

Commissioner Ron Terpko suggested the contest at a town meeting earlier this month.

After town officials ‘‘huffed and puffed" while helping out at last year’s carnival, Terpko said he thought a weight loss competition would be a good motivation for them to become healthier, while raising money for charity.

He has decided to donate his earnings to Cpl. Adam Kisielewski, a local Marine who was seriously injured while serving in Iraq.

Mayor Martin Burns will donate to the Guardian Hose Building Fund, while Commissioner Bill Blakeslee will donate half of his proceeds to the Trolley Rehabilitation project, and half to the town’s military support group. Commissioner Wayne Hooper said he will donate half his funds to the Guardian Hose Company Building fund and half to park equipment for children. Muth will donate to Catoctin High School’s Safe and Sane group.

Thurmont Town Police Chief Greg Eyler and his wife have also decided to jump on the exercise bandwagon, Terpko said. They will not be part of the competition, but became inspired to ‘‘tone up" as a result of seeing board members start their exercise programs.

The first weigh-in will take place just prior to the next town meeting, Tuesday night.

‘‘I want to lose 50 pounds in a two-month timeframe," Terpko said. ‘‘...There is a challenge on the table, so look out."

Terpko and Commissioner Bill Blakeslee have already developed a program with trainer Gretchen Smith at Well-Fit, Aerobic and Fitness Center in Thurmont. Burns, Hooper, and Muth have not yet announced where they will do their training.

Terpko and Blakeslee placed a wager on which one of them would lose more weight. Whomever loses less will donate $25 to the other’s charitable cause.

‘‘Well, Blakelsee, you know I’m going to beat him because he can’t stay away from those cheese fries," Terpko said.

Blakeslee responded: ‘‘Well, Commissioner Terpko — as long as he exhales all the hot air out of him — will win easily."

Not to be outdone, Commissioner Wayne Hooper added: ‘‘They have yet see me in action."

Terpko has already begun his program, and said Friday he has lost six pounds in five days.

‘‘Ron is doing a cardiac program, weight training program, and eating program," Smith said. ‘‘He is coming four to five times a week, I work with each individual as much as they feel they need."

Smith said she has received a number of phone calls from people interested in starting a weight-loss program with her as a result of the contest.

‘‘People are really into this, and hopefully more people will get involved," Terpko said. ‘‘I think we’re sparking a lot of interest... This is going to be a real fun experience for all of us."

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