• James Reid, Rick Ramsey and Tim Radford (from left) face off in good humor before the official weigh in for the Shave the Pounds competition. Photo by Samantha Sinclair
    James Reid, Rick Ramsey and Tim Radford (from left) face off in good humor before the official weigh in for the Shave the Pounds competition. Photo by Samantha Sinclair

SCOUTING AROUND: Mayors, radio host compete to lose most weight

    Murphy – A month from now, both of Cherokee County’s mayors may look slimmer, and one could have a completely different hairstyle. Mayors James Reid of Andrews and Rick Ramsey of Murphy are competing against WKRK President Tim Radford in a weight-loss competition.
    At the end of the month, the individual who loses the least amount of weight will have his head shaved by Becca McNabb of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, who is thoroughly looking forward to it.
    The Shave the Pounds competition was started by the men. “All three of us were talking that we really need to get in better shape,” Ramsey said.
    They also saw the competition as a way to provide a healthy lifestyle for themselves, plus promote a healthy lifestyle to the community at large.
    The weigh-in and kick-off event was held Thursday at Murphy Health & Fitness. Each participant had to empty his pockets before stepping on the scale to be weighed. Radford – who admitted to fattening himself up in the weeks leading up to the event – weighed in at 281.8 pounds, while Ramsey was 250 and Reid was 251.6.
    Both Radford and Ramsey thought the Andrews mayor would have a shaved head at the end of the competition, but Reid has different plans.
    “I’m so sorry these guys are going to have to lose,” Reid said with his familiar smile.
    The participants will all work with licensed contagious wellness expert facilitator Lynn Baker on the “20-30” program at the gym. The 30-day program is a nutrition program combined with training.
    Baker said the participants will meet in a classroom setting once a week, get personal coaching each day over the phone and will be monitored throughout the month. They will all be on the same plan, which they can customize.
    Tommy Phillips, member specialist at Murphy Health & Fitness, said it’s not a diet, but a lifestyle change.
    “You’re definitely getting a variety of things,” Phillips said.
    Leading up to the competition, Radford made no secret he was eating whatever he could – with plenty of help from Bram Farbstein of the Red Brick Deli – a decision Phillips is not sure he would have done. However, he has talked more with Radford than the mayors and is confident the radio personality is ready.
    “He’s super excited about the lifestyle change,” Phillips said. “I feel like he’s really motivated.”
    As he ate his last Cadbury Creme Egg before weighing in, Radford said he thought the hardest part would be the lifestyle change. Farbstein said he would provide Radford with a “scratch and sniff” dessert menu.
    Ramsey said his biggest challenge would be avoiding late night snacking. Reid said his would be cutting back on coffee.
    Matt Bateman, vice president of sales and marketing for the gym, encouraged the participants to share their journeys on social media and get family members to join them on the program. Baker said participants are 95 percent more successful when they do the program with someone close to them.
    While everyone was well aware of what happens to the person who loses the least amount of weight, there was uncertainty about the prize for the person who loses the most pounds, until Baker told them.
    “You’ll get to be healthy, happy and fully alive,” Baker said.

VFW auxiliary forming
    Andrews – A little over a year ago, as Scott and Cheryl Ramler were planning their move from Florida to Andrews, they discussed forming a Veterans of Foreign Wars post and auxiliary if the organizations didn’t already exist. Both were members of their respective groups, and enjoyed supporting veterans through the post and auxiliary.
    Andrews did have Post 7620, of which Scott Ramler soon became commander, but there was no auxiliary for Cheryl Ramler. That’s about to change.
    She is working with post and area leaders to start a VFW auxiliary in Andrews. So far, she has 10 people signed up, but they need at least 10 more to be official.
    Anyone can join the auxiliary as long as they have a family member – husband, wife, brother, sister, son, daughter or grandparent – who honorably served in a foreign war or police action.
    “We need people and fresh ideas, working toward doing what we can for the country,” Ramler said.
    Auxiliary members support veterans, active-duty service members and their families, not just the post they are associated with. There are networking opportunities and other benefits, like discounted insurance policies.
    “It was a great organization,” Ramler said. “You could form lifelong friendships ... and provide help to veterans.”
    The only other veterans service organization with an auxiliary in Cherokee County is he American Legion Post 96. Andrews is the only VFW post in the county.
    For details, call Cheryl Ramler at 407-712-4734 or Scott Ramler at 407-718-9485.
    Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.

The Cherokee Scout

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