A local couple and local restaurant will work together on a new weight loss challenge that is open to the community and starts July 1.

    Those New Year’s resolutions may be ancient history and the summer weight loss goals may be forgotten but a Middletown couple and Middletown restaurant are ready to get you on track in their 13-week weight loss challenge that kicks off Tuesday, July 1.
    In addition to losing some pounds, a percentage of proceeds generated through the challenge will be donated to The Everett Theatre.
    Aurelia and Kennon Ward designed the challenge, which will meet every Tuesday at Tom Foolery’s Restaurant & Bar, located at 714 Ash Blvd., Middltown. The meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the Tom Foolery’s banquet room.
    The cost is $29 to enter, $25 of which will go into the pot for the top three winners, or “biggest losers.” There will be weigh-ins each week and if any pounds are gained, participants must pay $1 per pound. They also must pay $5 if they miss a meeting. The smaller fees also go into the pot and there will also be a prize for the participant that loses the largest amount of body fat.
    The meetings will include education on how to lose weight and keep it off as well as making dietary and lifestyle changes.
    The Wards will serve as coaches and provide support. Kennon has recently lost 30 pounds, “the old fashioned way,” he said and Aurelia has also always been focused on health. She became a vegetarian when she was 12 and has ever since been focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet.
    “Everyone is welcome,” Kennon said. “Couples, singles, it doesn’t matter.”
    Aurelia, an independent weightloss coach for Herbalife, will also be selling Herbalife’s weight loss products of which 10 percent of the proceeds will go to The Everett Theatre.
    “We thought it would be a fun way to get to know the neighborhood and give back to it,” she said. “We’re heavy believers in the arts and thought this would be a fun thing.”
    Aurelia said the group can vote if it wants to give a portion of the winnings to the theatre as well.
    “That would be an additional plus,” she said.
    Rick Biddle, owner of Tom Foolery’s, said to further the education the Wards are providing, the restaurant will make three nutritious meals for participants to try, at a reduced cost.
    “That way they can visualize it and make a connection between the education that’s verbalized and what’s actually on the plate,” he said.
    Biddle said he and the Wards have been working on a lot of ideas for the meals.
    He said at the end of the challenge participants can vote for their favorite and the meal will be added to the restaurant’s menu. While the current menu does offer nutritional options, this meal will be special as it will be put on the menu based on what the Middletown community likes.
    This is the first time the Wards and Tom Foolery’s have done something like this.
    Biddle said he hopes the challenge builds a nice community group.
    “It should be fun,” he said. “We’re all about having a lot of diversity in the things we do here.”
    The challenge goes until Sept. 17.
    “This is coming in right at the beginning of summer so you can go back to school or work all trim and beautiful,” Aurelia said.
    For more information, call Aurelia at her home office at (877) 209-1331.