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Family Fit Challenge

Family Fit Challenge

For the Fall/Winter of 2017 we will be embarking on a new program in collaboration with the New Hanover County Health Dept. Five NHC-Health Dept nurses will begin a train-the-trainer program to become qualified instructors of the Student Fit Challenge in the county schools. Their efforts will enable 500 children (and their families) to be impacted by the program. While in school, these students will be educated on the tools needed to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight. The NHC-Health Department recognizes the child obesity epidemic in our community and understands it is a primary health concern that needs to be addressed with our youth. Participants in the school-based programs will receive free education and engagement tools such as pedometers, cookbooks, water bottles and portion control plates.  

To learn more click here

Wilmington Health Foundation has been a proud supporter of the Family Fitness Challenge and the Student Fitness Challenge since their inception. We look forward to providing statistical data supporting the effectiveness of our partnership with NHC-Health Department in 2018. 


Donate to the Family Fit Challenge


Wilmington Health's Family Fit Challenge has contributed to smaller waist lines and lowered BMIs. Its mission is to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic starting with our community.

Gifts to the Family Fit Challenge will be used to raise awareness of the program and maintain and improve the program's initiatives in building a healthier community. 

To donate to the Family Fit Challenge, please visit


"I've read where it takes a significant emotional event in someone's life for them to make permanent changes in their lifestyle. For me, it was as simple as turning 40, over seven years ago. At that time, I was 320 pounds, on blood pressure medicine, and diagnosed as pre-diabetic by my doctor (Matt Williams). It finally clicked with me on my 40th birthday that if I wanted to be around to see my children grow up I needed to be more responsible in regards to diet and exercise. Over the course of the next 18 months I made significant, permanent changes to my eating and activity level. These changes have not only resulted in my losing 125 pounds but have dramatically improved the way I feel, the way I think, and most importantly, my relationship with my children."

"I have not, however, been able to help my nine-year-old son with his own struggles with weight. That's why I signed us up for the Family Fit Challenge at Wilmington Health. What I have been telling him is now being reinforced by a health professional in a comfortable, fun environment. And meeting as a group shows him that he is not alone in his struggle. He is down 10 pounds so far, but more importantly, he is starting to understand concepts such as portion control, eating a variety of foods, and living an active lifestyle. These are lessons I hope he will carry on into his adulthood."

"Thank you Wilmington Health and especially J'nelle Ruscetti for her commitment to this program." - Eddie Yates

"I would like to thank Wilmington Health for inviting my family to participate in the Family Fitness Challenge that J'nelle Ruscetti organized and ran this past spring. A family 'on the go' in today's society can develop some less than desirable eating habits. While the decisions on eating rest primarily on the shoulders of the parents, J'nelle Ruscetti's program empowered the entire house, from youngest to oldest, with making good eating choices. Their choices focused on their desire to make a life decision to 'be healthy' and not the superficial desire to 'look thin.' This distinction was made clear to our children, as well as to my wife and me, through J'nelle's class, which incorporates the perfect mix of fun activities with statistics and facts that has benefitted all of us."

"We have seven children in our family. While the older three (high school and college age teens) did not attend the classes due to school and work commitments, they still learn a lot from the Family Fitness Challenge as well. This is due to the eagerness of their younger siblings to share what they had learned from class each week! We have ALL lost weight and feel healthier since utilizing the eating and exercising tips we picked up from the Family Fitness Challenge. Most importantly, we are now living a healthier lifestyle by making better choices."

"Thanks again to J'nelle and her tremendous staff at Wilmington Health. This is a program that would be beneficial to any family that would take part in it." - Tom Lewis