Maria Pontillo’s Beach Workout Event For Charity Raises Awareness & Money for Typhoon Haiyan Victims

maria pontillo

I am excited to announce that my first-ever Sweaty Sunday Funday Beach Workout for charity turned out to be a huge success with over 60 attendees and a pretty big crowd of spectators interested in joining future workout events! In addition to the great response and engagement received on Sunday, we raised almost $800 for the victims affected by Typhoon Haiyan while enjoying Fort Lauderdale Beach’s wonderful weather and atmosphere. My goal for this charity cause was to surpass $1,000 and in an effort to hit that goal, I am still collecting donations for the rest of the month. Before I give you all the juicy details of the event, click here to check out all the awesome action shots and group photos taken by photographer extraordinaire, Alex Dumas!

maria pontillo charity collage

This three-hour long charity fitness event was essentially a spin-off of my popular monthly beach workout: Sweaty Sunday Funday Beach Circuit Workout.  This time around, with the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to add a charitable component and make it bigger and better than ever!  In turn, I partnered with Jay Lawrence, owner of You Fresh Naturals, a Miramar-based gourmet butter company, and Liza Muravyeva, owner of Miami-based Sila Voli Fitness, which provides personal training and nutritional counseling. Liza offered dietician advice about healthy eating options, and gave away healthy recipes and free consultation sessions via prize raffles. In addition, she also did body fat testing for several attendees. Jay gave away jars of his delicious gourmet coconut butter during the prize raffles and even provided fruit and water to everyone after our 90-minute workout. Finally, we had Richard Gionatti, owner of Bubucheek apparel gear at the event selling Bubucheek hats. For every hat that was sold, he donated a portion of the proceeds to my Mercy Corps fund.

Before and after the three-hour long event, I conducted fitness challenges for prize giveaways! Extra kudos to Jason Mach who won the pull up contest with 45 straight pullups (let me clarify – not Kipping pullups either)! Andrea March came in first place for the handstand contest with an epic 52-second hold (WOAH!). Congrats to strong lady, Ivana Gagula who stole two records for a 3:56 minute plank hold and 10 undergrip pull-ups! We saw an impressive record by Leah Winterwoods with 12 overhand pull-ups and awesome job to Pat Wilkie to for winning the male pushups with a total count of 110 – yikes! Carole Coyle killed the female push up contest with a total of 67! Congrats to everyone who currently holds the fitness challenges records, and I am so proud of all the runner ups and everyone who participated and gave their all! Be ready for more fitness challenges in future events as I am always hosting or partaking in 5K’s, spin ride classes along with other outdoor workouts!

The energy and excitement that was received for this event has motivated me to continue doing major fitness events in Fort Lauderdale and even Miami, with the goal to offer a charitable component while promoting my fitness and health mission!  Make sure to look out in 2014 for another Beach Workout Charity Event that will benefit another different charitable cause!

100% of the proceeds collected this past Sunday are going directly to my Mercy Corps fund for victims affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Mercy Corps is a non-profit group that helps people in the world’s toughest places survive crises. They have an exceptional track record and that is why I chose the organization. Mercy Corps’ relief efforts in the Philippines are particularly focused on helping displaced children that have been affected by the typhoon. Since the disaster struck, they have delivered food, cooking supplies and hygiene kits to families struggling to recover. Although $1,000 may not sound like a lot here in America, it can do so much for young, innocent children and families who’s entire lives were displaced and wiped out.

Everyone who showed up and participated in my 90-minute workout received a high-intensity, total-body, circuit training partner workout right on the sandy beachside of Fort Lauderdale. One of the reasons I personally enjoy exercising outdoors is because it allows us to get out of the musty, cold gyms and get some fresh air!!  Not to mention the heat, wind, water and sand — it adds an extra level of intensity that makes the workout more challenging! We did an arrangement of workouts including skipping in the sand, burpees, hurdle jumps and sprints, which everyone in the group dominated! As a part of becoming a healthy and fit person, it’s important to make exercising enjoyable. The only way to truly become fit is to make it apart of your lifestyle. Exercising regularly is much easier when you are doing it with other like-minded individuals because it keeps you focused and makes exercise a part of your daily routine! Plus, working out in a group, especially with a partner, is a great source of motivation!

maria pontillo charity event

If you live in South Florida and are interested in attending one of my upcoming Fort Lauderdale Beach Workouts, email me and let me know you would like to be added to my email list. In the mean time, don’t forget to click here and check out all of the awesome professional photographs Alex Dumas captured throughout the entire event. In addition, you can always follow me on Instagram, “Like” my official Facebook Fan Page and follow me on Twitter where I always announce the latest fitness and health events that I am hosting or partaking in!

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