How many pushups can you do in two hours? The JFCS of the Suncoast wants you to challenge your friends to a friendly competition or simply push yourself to beat your personal record all while having fun and raising money and awareness for mental health.
On Sept. 24, the JFCS is hosting its first "Push for Mental Health." The event, a combined fundraiser, health fair and pushup challenge, will be held at the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, 5500 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registration is free at mightycause.com/event/JFCSpush. For business sponsorship information, contact JFCS chief development officer Ron Katz at 941-366-2224, ext. 142, or email@example.com.
“It’s really about the participation, not competition,” Katz said. “We want people to feel good about what they personally accomplish, and feel good about helping to raise money for a great cause.”
All ages and skill levels are welcome; participants can do traditional pushups, wall pushups, knee pushups or other modified forms.
Yoga, chair massages, too
Throughout the morning, participants can also loosen up with professional guidance from a yoga instructor, receive chair massages, and learn about the connection between physical and mental health from local experts.
"Regular exercise of any kind is key to helping improve mood and mental health for people of all ages and abilities,” said Claudia Baeza, owner of Pineapple Studios + Cycling Downtown SRQ, who is participating in the challenge. “Exercise works its magic in several ways. It supports brain health and helps create new nerve cells. It strengthens memory and learning. And it improves emotional regulation when adversity hits while enhancing confidence and self-esteem.
"In a nutshell, exercise helps us be more resilient when we are faced with life's challenges and it gets us out of the house to participate in life."
While registration is free, participants are encouraged to raise a minimum of $200 ($100 for students), which earns a free yoga mat. All fundraisers at any level will receive a free event T-shirt and lunch. Friends and family who attend to support participants also will receive free admission to the car museum.
JFCS sets $60,000 goal
The JFCS has a goal of raising $60,000 for its counseling services through Push for Mental Health. Donations will help provide access to counseling for those who have mental health needs, regardless of age or circumstance. While JFCS does accept insurance, it also provides services to anyone who needs them regardless of their ability to pay.
“Everyone faces challenges at different points in their lives; however, there’s no need to face them alone,” said Keith Leahey, chief of behavioral health services at JFCS. “Counseling assists in building confidence, using existing strengths and learning skills to overcome difficult situations. JFCS’ counseling program provides counseling to families and individuals of all ages, including youth, seniors and veterans. The JFCS counseling team has certifications in many areas, including trauma, addiction and military counseling.”
For more information about the JFCS, visit JFCS-Cares.org or call 941-366-2224.
Submitted by Melanie Hayes
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: JFCS hosting pushup challenge and fundraiser for mental health