Fundraising efforts underway to build new wellness center
By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
Wellness is something that everyone knows they should take seriously, but not everyone does. In addition to keeping up their own health and wellness, some people go the extra mile to not only keep themselves healthy, but to make sure that everyone around them has the same opportunities for good health and wellness as well.
For her efforts in bringing awareness to health and wellness to Watford City, a group of Watford City residents have made it their goal to name the new wellness center after the late Connie Wold. The group has started the Community Campaign to Name The Connie Wold Wellness Center, a fund-raising campaign to raise $801,000 in Connie’s name.
Connie Wold is remembered for many reasons. This campaign is honoring her memory as an inspiration and champion for fitness in McKenzie County. Born and raised in Watford City, Connie participated in track, basketball and cheerleading in high school and earned a degree in Recreational Management from the University of North Dakota when she graduated in 1985.
“This is a great honor to Connie and to our family,” says Cordell Wold. “I am happy to help make this a success, and I know that Connie would be glad to be a part of it as well.”
Health and wellness was a huge part of Connie’s life as a participant in marathons and successfully completing two Ironman competitions. She encouraged many others to challenge themselves in fitness. Connie died as the result of a bicycle-truck accident while training for her third Ironman competition.
The current Healthy Hearts Wellness Center at approximately 4,500 square feet cannot keep up with fitness industry trends or its growing number of members because of its size and capacity.
The new wellness center will offer 24-hour access and will include a large open gym, an aerobics classroom, a spinning bike area, a suspended running track, a therapy pool, a childcare playroom, outpatient physical therapy, a golf simulator and a beverage bar.
The new wellness center comes with a price tag of $3,822,300. So far, McKenzie County has agreed to fund $750,000 with an additional $300,000 pending, the City of Watford City has agreed to fund $800,000, the Roughrider Fund has agreed to fund $500,000 and the Physical Therapy Department will be funding $475,000, which leaves $997,300 in funding left up to fund-raising efforts.
“We knew that when we built a new wellness center we wanted to change the name,” says Tricia Sundeen, Healthy Hearts Wellness Center manager. “The idea of naming it the Connie Wold Wellness Center is an idea that just kind of took on a life of its own. Now we have the campaign to raise $801,000 in her name.”
“Connie was an inspiration to others for achieving fitness goals and truly lived her dream of helping people through physical activity over her lifetime,” adds Sundeen. “Connie was working full time in Williston at the Body Firm (a wellness center) when she started Aerobics’ Plus in 1986 where she taught group fitness classes before there was an established wellness center in McKenzie County. Connie then was instrumental in the establishment of the Healthy Hearts Wellness Center in 1995. She managed the center for 12 years while continuing to instruct fitness classes. She walked her talk and personally coached and encouraged many people of all ages and abilities to start, maintain, and increase their fitness goals.”
Pledges to the Connie Wold Naming Campaign can be made for any amount and spread over a three-year period. Early contributions of $5,000 or more will be recognized and named on a sign indicating the future home of the new wellness center. Donors will also be published in the Benefit Fund of MCHS Wellness Center newsletters. They will be recognized in the McKenzie County Farmer and on the Connie Wold Naming Gift Donor Wall inside the wellness center.
“Together, we can thank Connie for helping so many of us,” urges Sundeen. “Connie’s legacy will live on in the new facility by offering a place for people of all fitness abilities to get started, maintain, and thrive. We feel that the best and most natural name for the building would be the Connie Wold Wellness Center, and we are asking for your help to see that this happens.”
“Connie inspired the community and so many people to take part in fitness and good health,” adds Cordell. “I know she is beaming right now. She is and should be very proud to have this new center named after her.”