Four local veterans will end their quest to lose weight and find better health as one of them is named the victor Tuesday in the ninth annual Fittest Loser Challenge.
The Fittest Loser finale party kicks off at 6 p.m. at Chandler's Banquets, 401 N. Roselle Road, at the Schaumburg Golf Club. Tickets are still available.
The Fittest Loser Challenge, sponsored by the Daily Herald and Push Fitness in Schaumburg, follows four contestants on a 12-week weight-loss journey. This year for the first time all the contestants are military veterans -- each from a different service branch.
The contestants are Army veteran James "J.D." DeBouver, 33, of Schaumburg; Tony Wiszowaty, 68, of Schaumburg, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps; Navy veteran Penny Brown, 37, of Fox Lake; and Russell Page, 60, of Antioch, who served in the U.S. Air Force.
The contestants worked out with Push Fitness trainers Steve Amsden, Joshua Steckler, Patrick Stille and Michelle Jeeninga; attended grueling boot camps on Saturday mornings; and received nutritional counseling as part of the program.
They also participated in the Foodie 5K race at Cantigny Park in Wheaton and Challenge 22 -- an event sponsored in partnership with the Elk Grove Village Park District, Push Fitness and the Heart of a Marine Foundation to raise awareness about the mental health challenges veterans face.
The contestant who dropped his or her weight by the largest percentage during the 12-week competition will be named the champion at the finale and win a variety of prizes.
In addition, the winners of the fifth annual Fittest Loser At Work Challenge will be announced at the finale.
This year a record 80 teams -- more than 395 participants representing 75 businesses -- signed up for the At Work Challenge.
The co-workers attended special exercise and healthy eating events throughout the 12 weeks and encouraged each other both at work and at home to stay on track.
The winning team will receive $2,000, donated by sponsor Assurance, to give to a charity of their choice.
The public is invited to attend the finale. Admission is $15 per person and includes two drink tickets, light appetizers and a goody bag. For more information about attending the finale, visit events.dailyherald.com/finale/.