Jack Normoyle collects donations for local food pantry.

June 29, 2015 by karen

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

Junior Club Fit member Jack Normoyle forgoes birthday gifts  to collect donations for local food pantry.

Jack Normoyle supports local food pantry
Jack and his mom, Suzanne, at Club Fit.

Ask any kid what their favorite thing about birthdays is, and the answer will invariably be, “Presents!” Number two on the list is probably parties. Nine-year-old Club Fit Jefferson Valley member Jack Normoyle decided to change things up, skipping the presents and using his party as a vehicle to help the needy.

Jack, who will be going into the fourth grade at Lincoln-Titus Elementary School, held his Minecraft-themed birthday party at the club in May, opting for the Surf & Turf package for his friends. But instead of sitting back and collecting presents from the partygoers, he asked them to bring a nonperishable food donation for the Church of the Holy Spirit Food Pantry in Cortlandt Manor, part of the Food Bank of Westchester. And this isn’t the first time he’s done this. He did the same at his 7th birthday party.

“Jack saw a Facebook post from one of my friends mentioning the idea, and decided he wanted to help people out by doing the same,” says Jack’s mom, Suzanne. “The work that the food pantry does makes a difference in our community, and Jack has seen for himself that what he is doing matters.” The Holy Spirit Food Pantry services approximately 160 families, helping to feed about 600 people.

“I was surprised to see how much food people brought!” says Jack. “It made me happy to help out the people who really needed it.” Suzanne and Jack delivered the food a few days later, and the staff was understandably appreciative, as well as impressed by Jack’s generosity. “The ladies at the pantry definitely make a fuss over Jack!” says Suzanne. As they should!

The Normoyle family, residents of Cortlandt Manor, joined Club Fit just this past March, but have quickly become regulars. Suzanne comes to the club about three days a week, and is working with a Personal Trainer to get her fitness routine back on track. She uses the Fitness Center and Women’s Fitness Area, and husband John is working on getting more time in around his work schedule.

Jack is definitely getting his time in, doing the Junior Cycle kids’ cycle class on Mondays, and the Yoga for Kids class on Wednesdays. “It used to be all girls, but more boys are doing it now,” he says. He also enjoys the Energy Center, where he’s made some new friends, and is looking forward to attending Energy Camp this summer. “I don’t really have a favorite thing, I just like that there are a lot of different things to do here,” he says. He also enjoys basketball, soccer and karate.

We could all take a lesson from this fourth-grader, whose willingness to help is benefitting so many of the neighbors we often forget about. Hopefully other young people in our community will get wind of Jack’s act of kindness and follow his lead! For more information on the programs run by the Food Bank of Westchester and how to contribute, visit www.foodbankforwestchester.org. And if you run into Jack, give him a well-deserved pat on the back!

Parisi Director Jack Werther gives back.

October 31, 2014 by karen

Jack-werther-web
Parisi Director Jack Werther

Giving back is something that heightens the spirit and cleanses the soul. It is a good feeling to be able to do something that you are passionate about, and at the same time, help someone in need, or brighten their day – or week, for that matter!

In steps Jack Werther, Club Fit employee / Parisi Speed School Director. On a typical day, you can find Jack managing his speed trainers or heading up a local sports team’s training on the Parisi turf. His passion is working with kids… helping them to become stronger, faster, ultimately better athletes. This is a far cry from his college days, where he attended Western New England College and graduated with a degree in Finance. His love for personal training, pushed him to pursue his certification as a personal trainer in 2011, and in 2013 joined Club Fit and became a certified Parisi Performance Coach.

At about the same time, Jack was introduced by a friend to an organization based out of White Plains — Family Services of Westchester. FSW offers a broad range of innovative programs designed to meet the needs of children, teens, and the elderly through several family centers. What interested Jack the most was a program called “Camp Viva”. Camp Viva’s mission is simple — to serve HIV affected children, families and care partners in Westchester County, who are living with or affected by HIV and/or Aids.

For the past 3 years, Jack has been volunteering as a camp counselor there. Every August for the past 3 years, he has packed up his bags, and spends a full week at Camp Viva, a sleep away camp, located at the Ramapo Anchorage Camp for Children in Rhinebeck, NY.. “Making a difference in these kids’ lives has made me a better person. One of the things that I reflect back on is that kids are kids…they all want to be accepted, they all want to be “cool”, they all want to have friends. At the start of the week, their defenses are up. They come in with a “too cool for school” attitude. By Tuesday, their defenses are down, and they just want to be accepted…they just want to be kids”.

Jack spends the majority of his seven days as a Sports Specialist there, planning activities and running sports programs for these kids. Very similar to his job at Parisi. It’s the love that he has for kids and the love that he has for sports that makes him the perfect person for both jobs.

Inspired by Jack, we will be doing a give back to benefit Family Services of Westchester — a “Mitten, Scarf and Hat Drive” from November 28th through December 13th. New or gently worn items can be dropped off at the Club, and the proceeds will go to families in need throughout Westchester County.

During the month of November, we give thanks and share thanks. A big thanks to Jack Werther — for his unselfishness and the time that he gives back to Family Services of Westchester. If anyone is interested in learning more about Camp Viva, click here.