What could possibly follow OHEL’s Over the Edge – the groundbreaking fundraising event that saw nearly 100 participants rappel down a 20-story building? Welcome to OXC – OHEL’s Xtreme Challenge, another first for the Jewish community.
The vision of the OXC Committee Members Ben Englander, Aryeh Jacobson, Mordy Schwartz and Etan Kestenbaum, the OHEL Xtreme Challenge is a five mile and one and a half mile obstacle course competition that took place this past Sunday, at the beautiful Camp Kaylie grounds in Wurtsboro, New York. Nearly 250 participants ranging from six to 65 years old – from the Five boroughs, the Five Towns and New Jersey ran, climbed, jumped, clawed and muscled their way through this year’s first-ever OXC.
Most importantly, OXC saw numerous individuals and families from OHEL Bais Ezra’s residential and many other programs and services participate in this one-of-a-kind obstacle race. As David Mandel, CEO of OHEL and successful participant conveyed, “OXC in many ways embodies the underlying mission of OHEL – to overcome challenges in life, and realize the potential in us all.”
Winners in the female section were, in first place Esther Cohen, second place Sandra Tejada and third place Kyra Englander. In the men’s section, first place went to Shilo Zylberberg, second place to Harris Leitner and third place to Steven Hartstein.
The day did not of course go without the good and plentiful food associated with any OHEL event – from a hearty full breakfast to a delicious BBQ. Together with an all-day festival including water slides, and food vendors of ice-cream and candy floss, it was a fun day for all ages – whether as participants or encouraging spectators. Ben Englander, an OHEL board member and OXC committee member commented: “The turnout was fantastic and exceeded our expectations, and we are certain that with the incredible word of mouth that will follow – that we will see double the number next year!”
OHEL built OXC with the belief that it can set a new precedent in fund raising.
Robert Katz, OHEL’s Chief Development Officer explained that “We certainly had our reservations – community receptivity, possible injury, costs. But we built OXC – and they came! I am proud of OHEL and my team for proving that we can hold a spectacular event and provide options for participants of all ability levels.”
OHEL was grateful to its main sponsors: Investors Bank, ABC Communications, Saxony Title, Dependable Abstract, Poland Springs Brand 100% Natural Water, Cliff Bars, and others as well as our many participants who helped raise money to make this event possible. OHEL additionally thanked Toby Schwartz Design for her creative design and branding work for OXC. Participants left not only with a tremendous feeling of personal and communal accomplishment but with OXC’s many swag giveaways, T-shirts, towels etc. Their only question – the date for next year’s OXC.