Liberty Distributors President Mark Peluchette is named winner of inaugural ‘Community Fitness Challenge for Executives’
Naming an overall winner of the Community Fitness Challenge for Executives (CFC) proved to be more difficult than event organizers originally anticipated. Why? Because each of the 20 competitors were so committed to the challenge and so dedicated to helping one another succeed, that all of the final scores were very close. But after two tie-breakers, a winner did emerge: 51-year-old Mark Peluchette, president of Liberty Distributors.
Before a large crowd at the Wheeling Chamber Business After-Hours event on July 21, Ryan Ferns, owner of The Ryan Ferns Healthplex and creator of the CFC’s customized crossfit program, first announced an overall tie between Peluchette and Undo’s Family Restaurants President Nick Sparachane.
“Everyone came into this competition at a different level of fitness,” Ferns said. “But I told them at the start that they would all have an equal chance to win based on the metrics we put in place. But I never really thought a tie would be possible.”
Ferns said two categories of measurements were considered to determine the CFC winner: fitness and nutrition. Because both Peluchette and Sparachane tied for first place overall in the fitness measurements, and then tied for second place overall in the nutrition measurements, Ferns had to refer to his two tie-breakers to come up with the final winner.
The close scores realized by the 16 men and four women who competed in the CFC are the direct result of their accomplishments over the three-month challenge period. Ferns announced that, collectively, the competitors did 20,000 sit-ups, 9,000 pull-ups, 12,000 squats, 8,000 push-ups, saw a 450-point change in their cholesterol levels, and lost an astounding total of 320 lbs.
In winning the CFC, Peluchette thanked CFC organizers, his fellow competitors, his wife Amber, his family and co-workers for their support. “I never anticipated the caliber of this challenge,” Peluchette said to the crowd. “If Ryan [Ferns] or David [McKinley] call and ask you to do this, do yourself a favor and say ‘yes!’”
Peluchette was referring to CFC founder David McKinley’s remarks to the crowd that hinted at a second CFC class for this fall.
“The Community Fitness Challenge appealed to CEOs and presidents on many different levels,” McKinley said. “Participants were able to greatly improve their own personal health, the charity aspect allowed participants to compete on behalf of an organization they were passionate about, and the social interaction created a fun and motivational atmosphere. We’re receiving a lot of enthusiasm about doing another class this fall.”
Each executive in the CFC committed to a three-day-per-week workout at 5 a.m., a weekly nutrition class, and a four-week Whole30 nutritional program. Additionally, each donated $1,000 to the CFC Charity Pool that was ultimately awarded to Peluchette’s chosen organization, Central Catholic High School, which is his high school alma mater.
The CFC footprint and impact was quite significant, as evident by the responses to the challenge’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/communityfitnesschallengewheeling/). In May 2016 alone, the reach of the social media site’s posts skyrocketed to more than 31,000 people. Another positive spin-off of the CFC has been the creation of a new “Fitness Menu” for Undo’s Restaurants. CFC runner-up Nick Sparachane, with the input of Healthplex Nutritionist Kathi Leonard and his own culinary team, unveiled the new menu at all Undo’s locations on July 22.
The competitors, their companies, and their chosen charities in the inaugural CFC were:
- Lisa Allen (Ziegenfelder Ice Cream Co.) – Crittenton Services
- Lawrence Bandi (Central Catholic High School) – Wheeling Jesuit University
- Michael Caruso (OVHS&E) – Harmony House
- Todd Clossin (WesBanco) – American Heart Association
- Father James Fleming (Wheeling Jesuit University) – Central Catholic High School
- Steve Greiner (West Liberty University) – West Liberty University Foundation
- Chief Larry Helms (Wheeling Fire Department) – Wheeling Health Right
- Dr. David Hess (Reynolds Memorial Hospital) -Young Life of Marshall County
- Danielle McCracken (Oglebay Institute) – Oglebay Institute
- David McKinley (McKinley Carter Wealth Services) – Oglebay Foundation
- Kim Miller (Ohio County Schools) – Woodsdale Elementary School
- Bryan Minor (Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston) – WV Catholic Foundation
- Mark Peluchette (Liberty Distributors) – Central Catholic High School
- Jim Pennington (The Health Plan) – Wheeling Health Right
- John Reasbeck (Omni Strategic Technologies) – St. Vincent de Paul School
- Chief Shawn Schwertfeger (Wheeling Police Dept.) – Ohio County Special Olympics and Make-A-Wish Foundation
- Rob Sincavich (Team Sledd) – Catholic Charities of WV
- Nick Sparchane (Undo’s Family Restaurants) – Miracle League of the Ohio Valley
- Erikka Storch (Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce) – The Linsly School
- Will Turani (Orrick) – St. John’s Home for Children
- CFC Program Oversight/Management: Ryan Ferns (RF Healthplex) – King’s Daughters Child Care Center
In addition to McKinley Carter Wealth Services and RF Healthplex, the following sponsors provided significant support to the CFC program: Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, The Health Plan, and Wheeling Island Hotel – Casino – Racetrack.