SARASOTA, FL – (Aug. 4, 2022) How many push-ups can you do in two hours? Challenge your friends to a friendly competition, or push yourself to beat your personal record – all while having fun and raising money and awareness for mental health.
On Sept. 24, JFCS of the Suncoast is hosting its first Push for Mental Health. The event, which is a fundraiser, health fair and push-up challenge, will be held at the Sarasota Classic Car Museum from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
During the event, participants will do push-ups at their own pace, competing not against others, but against their own fitness goals, or even just to have fun. Some may set a pace of 4 push-ups per minute, while others may do 10 every 5 minutes. “It’s really about the participation, not the competition,” said Ron Katz, Chief Development Officer at JFCS. “We want people to feel good about what they personally accomplish, and feel good about helping to raise money for a great cause.”
The event is focused on fitness and fun. All ages and skill levels are welcome; participants can do traditional push-ups, wall push-ups, knee push-ups or other modified forms. People are encouraged to register as soon as possible to have time to train and prepare, using materials and tips provided by JFCS.
Throughout the morning, participants can loosen up with professional guidance from a yoga instructor, receive chair massages for sore muscles, and learn about the connection between physical and mental health from area experts. Claudia Baeza, owner of Pineapple Studios + Cycling Downtown SRQ, understands and promotes the connection between mental and physical health.
“Regular exercise of any kind is key to help improve mood and mental health for people of all ages and abilities,” said Baeza, who will participate in Push for Mental Health. “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 would get them a free yoga mat. All fundraisers at any level will receive a free event t-shirt and free lunch. They, and their friends and family who attend to support them, will also receive free admission to the car museum.
The fundraising portion is an important aspect of the event, and with a custom-designed crowd-funding website, participants can easily create their own webpage and ask their friends and family for support. JFCS has a goal of raising $60,000 through Push for Mental Health for its counseling services. Donations will help provide access to counseling to those in our community 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.”
Push for Mental Health
When: 9 a.m. – 12: 30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24
Where: Sarasota Classic Car Museum, 5500 N. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34243
Cost: Free to participate; Donation of at least $200 encouraged
For business sponsorship information, please contact Ron Katz at (941) 366-2224, ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About JFCS: One of the Florida Suncoast’s leading mental health and human services agencies, JFCS delivers programs and services on a non-denominational basis and with the goal of empowering individuals towards well-being and self-reliance. Inspired by the Jewish tradition of helping all people, JFCS of the Suncoast believes all people are to be treated with dignity and respect and have equal opportunity for physical and mental well-being, self-expression, and joy. For more information, visit https://JFCS-Cares.org/ or call (941) 366-2224.