Nathalie Garcia wins David Swope Scholarship

July 11, 2018 by karen

Congratulations to our JV inaugural David Swope Educational Scholarship winner, Nathalie Garcia!

 

David Swope Scholarship award winner Nathalie Garcia
David Swope Scholarship award winner Nathalie with Aquatics Director Patrick

In 1973 David Swope and his business partner, Beth Beck, founded Club Fit. In early 2018 David passed away and Club Fit and our communities suffered a great loss.

In addition to being enthusiastic about creating health clubs that foster a sense of community and providing top notch expertise and facilities, David was passionate about helping everyone have access to educational opportunities. To honor his name and the great work he dedicated his life to here at Club Fit and in our communities, we have created the David Swope Educational Scholarship.

Nathalie currently attends SUNY Cortland and is a Community Health major. At the club, you can find Nathalie in the Aquatic Center working as a Lifeguard over the summer and during school breaks throughout the year. Nathalie works diligently at multiple jobs in support of furthering her education. In addition, she is currently interning at Montefiore Hospital and working towards the last 12 credits to obtain her degree. Nathalie is extremely focused on her education and will be traveling abroad to Barcelona this fall with the Global Experience Internship Program. She will be doing career-related humanitarian work. Nathalie is excited to share her passion with others and is looking forward to the opportunity to work in this capacity.

Nathalie truly embraces David Swope’s true essence and commitment to humanitarian outreach. It’s a pleasure to share this award with her.

Alexa Guevara wins David Swope Scholarship

July 10, 2018 by karen

Congratulations to our Briarcliff inaugural David Swope Educational Scholarship winner, Alexa Guevara!

 

David Swope Scholarship award winner Alexa with her mom, Assistant Communications Coordinator Lori, and her uncle, Briarcliff General Manager Mark.

In 1973 David Swope and his business partner, Beth Beck, founded Club Fit. In early 2018 David passed away and Club Fit and our communities suffered a great loss.

In addition to being enthusiastic about creating health clubs that foster a sense of community and providing top notch expertise and facilities, David was passionate about helping everyone have access to educational opportunities. To honor his name and the great work he dedicated his life to here at Club Fit and in our communities, we have created the David Swope Educational Scholarship.

Alexa is a part of the Energy Center team and recently graduated with honors from Westchester Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Visual Arts. She will be transferring into the SUNY New Paltz Fine Arts program in the fall.

By receiving this scholarship, Alexa believes she will “… be able to put it toward the resources that will help me become the artist I want to be. I truly love what I’m in school for and am working hard to achieve my dream.”

All candidates were asked to describe the Club Fit organizational value that meant the most to them. Alexa described her embracement of the neighborhood and genuine fulfillment from caring for the community in which she lives. She described a scenario of volunteering at the local food pantry and said, “Many times our society chooses to be most eager about the qualities that look the best. To have more and better things than the next person. To me, I like to think that when we want a great neighborhood we have to embrace the more challenging parts and help build them stronger. The food pantry has always been a humbling experience and I am fortunate enough to have been exposed to that at an early age. It’s become a value that will stick with me my entire life.”

Alexa’s educational drive and passion for her community aligns with everything David stood for in our community. Congratulations Alexa!

Alzheimer’s and dementia education — “Sharp Again Naturally”

March 24, 2014 by karen

Jacqui Bishop - Sharp Again Naturally - Alzheimer’s and dementia education - Club Fit
Jacqui Bishop, founder of Sharp Again Naturally, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit formed to educate the public about causes of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Jacqui Bishop’s “Sharp Again Naturally” promotes Alzheimer’s and dementia education.

Here’s something you don’t hear every day… we have some really good news about Alzheimer’s and dementia! No, unfortunately no one has come up with the magic pill, and traditional medicine has yet to post a single turnaround. However there are people who’ve been diagnosed with the disease by highly respected researchers and physicians who have reversed their symptoms and are now living normal lives again. And there’s documentary footage available to prove it.

This news comes from Jacqui Bishop, Club Fit Briarcliff member and founder of Sharp Again Naturally, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit formed to educate the public about causes of dementia that are reversible but little known and rarely tested for or treated. The Sharp Again vision is a world free of unnecessary pain from reversible causes of dementia, and they are working to make comprehensive testing and treatment of those reversible causes part of the standard of care for all dementia patients.

Jacqui herself was directly impacted by Alzheimer’s disease, which took her mother in 2010 after an 18-year slide. At that time, even with all the money and time that could have been poured into effective treatment, it was assumed that nothing could be done. Jacqui was helpless to make more than a palliative difference for her mother.

Then, in November 2011, Jacqui saw footage from an unfinished documentary film that changed—and may even have saved—her life. Two filmmakers had discovered cases of Alzheimer’s being reversed, resolved to make a documentary, and traveled across the country filming interviews with researchers, physicians, and Alzheimer’s patients who had gotten their minds back. Upon seeing this stunning footage, Jacqui and several others from the Westchester Holistic Network decided to help the filmmakers complete the documentary. That day, Sharp Again Naturally was born.

The research is astounding, and makes clear that diagnoses of dementia, even Alzheimer’s, can be successfully treated. What percentage of cases can be arrested or reversed? Nobody knows because no one’s ever done the research. But it’s a significant number. And if it’s just 20 percent, which is a conservative estimate, that’s a million people in the U.S. alone.

The organization’s web site, www.sharpagain.org, outlines seven causes of dementia, including nutritional factors, hormonal imbalances, and stress. Another cause, which has not been officially added pending additional research, Jacqui calls stagnation. “We are finding many correlations between healthy brain function and activity—intellectual, social/emotional to be sure, but especially physical,” she says. “As a matter of fact, my mother was an athlete, a swimmer, hiker, and competitive skier, well into her sixties. It was when she could no longer exercise that her functioning went downhill really fast.”

She recommends reading Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, by John J. Ratey, MD, which explores comprehensively the connection between exercise and the brain. It includes amazing case studies, including the revolutionary fitness program in Naperville, IL, that is credited with putting the children in the local school district fifth in the world in math and first in the world in science test scores. Jacqui also says that research has shown that people with the APOE-4 gene, often referred to as the “Alzheimer’s gene,” have generated especially impressive improvements through physical exercise.

Jacqui’s passion isn’t only about saving the rest of the world: She herself started noticing symptoms. “I was losing words, having trouble following conversations and experiencing memory loss.” After being tested by a physician trained in functional medicine, she learned she was pre-diabetic and suffering from a mild version of hypothyroidism, two factors strongly associated with cognitive decline. Based on those and other indicators, she has been practicing the following “treatments”: taking natural desiccated thyroid supplements, cutting out sugar, increasing sleep, increasing her intake of omega-3s and taking large quantities of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), an alternative fuel for starving brain cells. MCTs are most readily (and cheaply!) available from coconut oil, which has been documented as turning around a significant number of cases.

Exercise is also a big part of Jacqui’s quest for wellness. It wasn’t so hard for her as she had always been active and came from an athletic family, but she had never included regular workouts in her schedule. Club Fit entered her life when her best friend encouraged her to come in and check it out, and the rest was history. “We’d make workout dates, and we both looked forward to them. I loved laughing with my great friend—30 minutes went by on the elliptical like no time at all. To anyone who wants to get into fitness, I’d suggest buddying up with a friend!” says Jacqui. “It changed my life.”

Jacqui now gets to the gym 2 to 3 times a week and spends most of her time in the Fitness Center on the machines and in the stretching area. She also spends about 20 minutes in the pool each visit as she’s an avid swimmer and “the pool is top-notch—no chlorine.” When she doesn’t make it to the Club, she walks at least 30 minutes every day. “Carving out the time is the challenge, but my mind is so much clearer when I do.” The work at Sharp Again, she says, has become a “time-and-a-half job.” But it’s a job worth doing, and an exciting one—so many discoveries are being made every day and Alzheimer’s affects so many people and families, not just here but worldwide.

Sharp Again is making great strides, but they need help to continue their mission. “We welcome anyone who wants to help us spread the word!” says Jacqui. There’s a volunteer information meeting on March 27th in White Plains, and donations are welcomed to help fund educational materials, community presentations, website work, and additional research. Sharp Again is also building an information clearinghouse, which will include a database of holistic practitioners. Do you know a great holistic physician? Let them know!

To find out more about Sharp Again or to sign up for their informative newsletter, visit www.sharpagain.org, which contains videos, educational data, and links to associated organizations. You can also find a schedule of Sharp Again’s free presentations at libraries, churches, and other organizations at sharpagain.org/category/calendar. They are presenting next at the Awaken Fair on March 30 in Tarrytown (see AwakenFair.com).

If you or someone you know is being affected by a diagnosis of dementia, Jacqui urges you to visit the web site. “I would have gone halfway ’round the world for this information when my mother was in decline.” Or, if you want to talk to an actual human being, feel free to write Jacqui herself at jacquibishop@sharpagain.org to set up a date, or call her at (914) 997-9611. She’ll be glad to hear from you!