The Bellcate community is wrapping up its second version of “30 nights,” completing an intense workout series that brought laughs, tears of joy, hall of fame basketball players, a logger, the local news, a couple dentists, and a country music star.
The fun began on Monday, January 4th. Aiden met Bellcate Athletic Director Jamie Moore at Lily’s Gym, and the two came up with the workout agenda for the first night. “I felt pretty good going into the workout,” says Aiden. When 7pm hit, Jamie and Aiden’s computer screen lit up with Bulldogs near and far. The group discussed expectations for the next 30 nights and set the groundwork for what has evolved to be a stellar evening workout series!
Throughout the 30 nights, Bellcaters welcomed special guests to appear and even facilitate workouts! Such members include Sarah Kill, who happens to be Bellcate’s sales rep from BSN sports. Sarah played Division 1 basketball at Siena College and was a 1,000 point scorer during her time there. Besides leading the group in a killer leg workout, Sarah and BSN sports also donated 25 shirts for our group to wear on Friday, January 29th. “I had so much fun leading, and BSN is happy to support such a wonderful cause” Sarah said.
Staying with the basketball theme, the fitness group also got guest appearances from UVM basketball Hall of Famers, TJ Sorrentine (1/8/21) and Taylor Coppenrath (1/15/21). TJ and Taylor both played huge roles in leading UVM to their first postseason win when they upset Syracuse in the 2005 NCAA tournament. “TJ and Taylor sent inspiring messages last spring to some of our Bellcate basketball players,” Jamie explains. “To have them each take time out of their busy lives to join one of our calls was extremely kind of them, and this is why they are considered heroes in Vermont, for what they do off the court” adds Jamie.
This past weekend we were joined by a family that’s connected to Bellcate in multiple ways! Dr. Lynda Ulrich & her daughter Liesl Verderber started a website called Ever Widening Circles. This website launched EWCed, an educational platform that used Bellcate a few years back to pilot this wonderful idea. Many of our students now take EWCed as a class here. Dr. Lynda’s husband, Dr. Chuck Verderber also joined the call. He is a former professional basketball player. He played college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats and was his team’s captain during his junior and senior seasons. After graduating, Verderber was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the seventh round of the 1982 NBA Draft, and played one season professionally for Obradoiro CAB in Spain. Dr. Lynda & Dr. Chuck are also dentists who have traveled the world with their children, bringing dental supplies and new strategies to many different countries. Their son played on an AAU Championship basketball team with Bellcate’s very own Deng Adiang! The Ulrich/Verderber family all joined our call and led us through stretches, a work out, and some questions. Always nice to collaborate with them!
Rusty “The Logger” Dewees, comedian/singer/performer joined our call and gave a hysterical performance for the group and answered some questions at the end. “He was really funny,” said Carter. “I liked how he didn’t pronounce Bellcate correctly”, Carter added.
On our second to last Friday, January 29th, the group had a few awesome guests! Brittany and Courtney from Fox 44 joined, and worked on a story for the whole 30 days! They conducted interviews with Jason and Keenan prior to the workout, and then they joined in the workout portion with the group. The story aired February 3rd, and the link is below if you have not seen it! Thanks, gals 🙂 Also joining on the 29th, fueling the group for a grueling workout with his own music, Jamie Lee Thurston was in the house! JLT, brought some super positive energy and played two uptempo songs to get us through the exercise circuits. He then played one of his biggest hits, “Givin’ up Breathin,” while the group put on their dancing shoes and danced like they have never danced before! “I like Jamie Lee a lot,” says Marissa. “I like a lot of his songs,” she added. At the end of the call, JLT said, “Y’all make the world a better place. Thank you for all you do to stay healthy!” Thank you, JLT for joining and being such a positive role model for our Bellcate kids!
The “Bulldogs 30 Nights of Fitness” wrapped up Friday, February 5th. However, we are excited to launch our next 30 nights theme, kickboxing! This will start Monday February 8th, and will be Monday – Thursday, with a dance party on Fridays! Please continue to join the fun. Thank you to all the staff, students, parents, and guests who made these last 30 nights so great!