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Winner announced in Ohio Valley community fitness challenge

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Fitness has many benefits for your body, and an Ohio Valley program is using exercise to benefit local organizations.

For the third time, members of the Ohio Valley competed in the community fitness challenge.

The event was organized by West Virginia Senator Ryan Ferns along with David McKinley, working with the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce.

"The goal of the event is to increase awareness about healthy living around the Ohio Valley," said Ryan Ferns of the Ryan Ferns Healthplex.

15 participants took part in a 90-day fitness regimen in Ferns' fitness center, following a strict diet and exercise routines.

They each represented charities in the Ohio Valley.

The winner was announced Wednesday night at Wheeling Island Hotel Racetrack and Casino.

Nick Sparachane was the winner, he lost 20 pounds during the program.

"I don't think I realized how important dieting is,” said Sparachane. “I always worked out but I didn't eat well. As soon as I switched that habit, in only 90 days, I lost the 20 pounds and I wasn't even trying to lose weight."

Each participant donated $1,000 at the beginning of the program.

The $15,000 will go toward Sparachane's charity of choice, Miracle League in Wheeling.

Miracle League makes it possible for kids and adults with special needs to play on a baseball team.

Sparachane is happy to support the organization.

"Anybody who is willing to commit 90 days of their life to challenging workouts and a specific nutrition regimen, well outside the scope of what they're used to, is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Ferns. “I think they set an example for everybody in the Ohio Valley. I couldn't be more proud of their effort throughout the program."

Ferns says that more than 400 people have gone through the program.

Everyone has the opportunity to continue with a graduate program once they finish.

He plans to hold the event again in Spring of 2018.

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