[VIDEO] Families Get Fit at Hospital 'Fun-raiser'

The weekend event drew hundreds to Chappaqua Crossing and raised money for Northern Westchester Hospital.

Foregoing the adults-only black-tie gala fundraiser, volunteers designed a fundraising and awareness event with entire families in mind: The first-annual FitQuest, held Saturday in Chappaqua.

Drawing locals from throughout Northern Westchester, the event turned the lawn at Chappaqua Crossing into a large-scale field day. It featured games such as football toss, a real-life version of the "Angry Birds" game series, bouncy rides and a big pants race, where two people get into a gigantic pair of jeans and hop against likeminded pairs.

The events attracted both kids and families for participation, something that excited Ayo Hart, a Pound Ridge resident and co-chair for the committee that planned the day.

“That makes me day, you know, I didn’t want just the kids to do it," she said. Hart herself went through some of the events, including the big pants race and an obstacle course.

“We tried to make it challenging but fun," Hart said about the events.

Hart's co-chair was Deborah Coffino, a Chappaqua resident whose husband, Alan, is a doctor for the hospital.

Becki Fleischer, a neighbor of Hart's and member of the hospital's foundation board that funds programs, said the idea for FitQuest came about two years ago, when the board started having conversations about how to engage younger families, as well as in showing the hospital to be a place of health and wellness.

“Everybody just kind of jelled around this idea of ‘yeah, we really want to do something for fitness, for health, to bring in young families, and it just kind of came about," said Fleischer, whose husband, Ari, was White House press secretary under President George W. Bush and is a alum.

“It’s our first time and I think it’s been a great success," said Seligman. He said that the event was an experiment, and that the idea is to make it an annual event.

Proceeds from the day, including through a raffling of prizes, will go to funding the foundation. In addition, elementary schools from nine partner districts in the region competed for four grants of $1,250 each. The grants will be award in pairs for two categories, according to Hart, based on money raised and by the turnout of each school in proportion to its total enrollment.

Several businesses from the area showed up as sponsors, including —it and the hosptial both rent space at Chappaqua Crossing—, and .

“There’s a lot of great activities here today," said Bedford Hills resident Tom Micucci, who brought along his son, Zachary, and went to several events.

His son liked the fact that he could do fun activities, and was excited about a rock climbing event offered.


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