A Vacaville community services commissioner is turning a bid to get healthy into an opportunity to help others.
Failure is not an option, said Alex Henthorn, a commissioner of nearly 10 years, who hopes to drop 66 pounds by May 15 through Fleet Feet's "Ton of Fun" weight loss competition and make a sizable donation to Pink Lemonade, a Vacaville nonprofit that provides all types of help to cancer patients.
"It's a local charity (whose proceeds) stay local," said Henthorn of Pink Lemonade. "It supports cancer patients and their fight."
Knowing he wanted to lose weight, and being competitive by heart, the 28-year-old didn't waste much time signing up once he learned about the Fleet Feet competition -- and added the fundraising element after seeing a friend's Instagram photos regarding his own weight loss challenge.
That friend, Jason Quintero of Vacaville, is married to Donna Quintero, a cancer survivor and founder of Pink Lemonade. Inspired by her own experience with the debilitating disease, the mom of two founded the all-volunteer group to help cancer patients with everything from housekeeping to cooking to lawn services. She also offers a shoulder to lean on and is a cheering squad all her own. The group's services are free.
Personal exposure to the disease also predisposed Henthorn to get healthy and embrace Pink Lemonade. His older sister, he said, was diagnosed with cancer last summer and, following treatments, is doing very well.
"If my sister didn't have my parents for support," he mused, trailing off. "With Pink Lemonade ... I like the thought that you're not alone."
His goal is to be trim by the May 15 competition deadline and secure donations of $50 per every pound lost. All proceeds will go to Pink Lemonade.
"It's gonna require a lot of effort," he continued. "I'll be eliminating alcohol and eliminating fast food. It'll be hard. There's a Taco Bell by my house."
A good support system is in place, he said, and he's working out at a local gym. Slowly but surely, the weight's beginning to come off his 5-foot-9-inch frame.
"My motivation is knowing what I'm gonna get, knowing it's for charity, and winning the competition," he advised.
Henthorn is asking the community to sponsor his weight loss and charitable goal.
To sponsor him and monitor his progress, visit Facebook.com/AlexForPink.
Follow Staff Writer Kimberly K. Fu at Twitter.com/ReporterKimFu.