Here’s how you can take part in the annual Avon vs. Avon Lake Community Wellness Challenge and take home the win

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During last year’s Challenge, Dave Kacur enthusiastically embraced all the Fitness Center at UH Avon Health Center has to offer while earning points for his city. The result? He lost 35 pounds and his blood pressure dropped 40 points.

By Laura Briedis

You never know when you’ll have that aha moment. For Avon resident Dave Kacur, it came during last summer’s Avon vs. Avon Lake Community Wellness Challenge at the Fitness Center at University Hospitals Avon Health Center.

Although he has always been active—playing baseball at Brookside High School and intramural sports at The Ohio State University, teaching karate and working out at the gym—the wellness challenge inspired him to lose weight and reap all the health benefits that come along with being fit.

“I used to come to the fitness center and work out on my own, but when I joined the challenge, it helped me set goals and provided new ways to get fit,” says Dave, an environmental health and safety analyst. “I tried new activities I had never done before, like spinning, yoga, aqua workouts and pickleball.”

“I also took advantage of the free wellness seminars that gave me tips on strength training and proper nutrition,” he adds.

He enthusiastically embraced all the Fitness Center at UH Avon Health Center has to offer while earning points for his city. The result? He lost 35 pounds and his blood pressure dropped 40 points.


“I have since kept off the weight and my blood pressure is good,” he says. “I encourage everyone to join this year’s challenge. I am joining again to have fun and hopefully beat Avon Lake this year.”

Since its inception four years ago, Avon Lake won the inaugural year and last year. Avon took top honors in 2017.

During the 12-week challenge, which runs from Wednesday, May 29, through Thursday, August 15, city residents have free access to the fitness center on select days. Avon guest day will be on Wednesdays and Avon Lake on Thursdays, from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Staff members will conduct free wellness assessments starting Sunday, May 12, until just before the challenge, so the fitness specialists can gauge which type of workouts would be most beneficial.

“We will utilize our advanced InBody bioelectrical impedance scale, which measures everything from body composition to water weight to muscle mass,” says General Manager Brad Calabrese, who created the challenge as a way to give back to the community.

After the wellness assessment, participants will get a card that will electronically track points for working out, attending health seminars, maintaining weight criterion, as well as other activities. Each point they earn adds to their city’s total. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three individual winners and the winning city will get a plaque. Last year, Dave donated his prize money to the Cleveland Food Bank.

“All of the residents who participate are winners as they get on track to a healthier lifestyle,” says Brad.

“And it is free to come in and use our facilities, including a pool, steam rooms and saunas, racquetball and squash courts, outdoor tennis and pickleball courts. Plus, residents can attend classes for free, including Outdoor Solstice Yoga and Race Day Spinning.

“We often hear in the community that people may feel intimidated going into a certain class,” he continues. “To help, we offer multiple beginner classes and have workshops on exercises for stability, so everyone can participate.”

The Fitness Center at University Hospitals Avon Health Center is located at 1997 Healthway Drive in Avon. For more information on the Fitness Center’s amenities and programs, check out UHhospitals.org/Fitness, or call 440-988-6801.