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Williamsport Curves owner inspires members to be charitable

March 31, 2012|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | alnotarianni@aol.com
  • Members of Curves for Women of Williamsport pose for a picture Saturday at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Williamsport.
By Alicia Notarianni

WILLIAMSPORT, Md. — If you are not going to eat your food, you might as well give it to someone who will.

That was part of the idea behind Curves for Women of Williamsport’s food bank donation and walk Saturday.

About 30 Curves members walked with a police escort from the weight loss center on Governor Lane Boulevard to Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church on West Potomac Street more than two miles away. Once there, they presented 3,000-plus pounds of food to the food bank director, then hoofed it back to Curves.

Curves members Nancy King of Falling Waters, W.Va., and Chris Mislevy of Williamsport stood with the group as they prepared to enter the food bank.

“We gave up our food for them,” King said.

“We’re all on diets,” Mislevy added.

Jane Duff, a staff member at Curves, said the donation comes from a weight loss challenge in which members who typically attend in the morning compete against those who go in the afternoon. A grocery cart for each group served as a receptacle for donations.

“When members come in, we weigh them with their bags, and then weigh them without,” Duff said. “It’s food they didn’t eat, that they gave away. It keeps the competition really fun.”

Duff said Williamsport Curves owner Iffy Imarhiagbe inspires members to lose weight and to participate in charitable endeavors such as food and clothing drives.

“Iffy has this incredible spirit that inflates people. She gets people inspired and they react,” she said.

Williamsport Food Bank Director Leigh Ann Stotelmyer said Curves has donated food from the drive since 2008, but this was the first year that members walked to the food bank to present it.

“That this wonderful group of women would team up and donate this much food is just amazing. Donations of this size don’t come often,” Stotelmyer said. “Some ladies asked if they could just drop in and randomly give. One asked if she could help stock shelves.”

Stotelmyer said the community’s need for food from the bank is down slightly compared to last year. But going into summer, she anticipates the need will increase as students who usually eat meals at school will be home during the day.

Imarhiagbe said the challenge was a friendly competition that brought out the competitive spirit of participants.

“I have the most wonderful women as members and they all collected food,” she said. “All these sexy ladies are fighters and they all did well.”

Besides donating food on her own for the challenge, Curves member Mary McDonie of Falling Waters expanded the drive to her place of employment in Columbia, Md. Ultimately, McDonie lost around 40 pounds and gathered 123 pounds of food.

Marie Fringer of Williamsport took in around 50 pounds of food and walked with the group to present it.

“We all love to walk anyway,” Fringer said. “We might as well be doing it for the food drive.”

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