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Student's project to benefit Sewickley Valley YMCA

Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley sophomore Charlie Kristo poses for a photo inside of the high school Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Kristo is holding spin classes at Psycle Fitness in Marshall Township, a gym his father owns, to raise money for the Sewickley Valley YMCA's Changing Lives Campaign for his 10th-grade project. The classes will take place Sunday and also Feb. 24 and March 3.

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By Joanne Barron
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

Charlie Kristo of Edgeworth has put a spin on his personal project.

Charlie, 16, a Quaker Valley sophomore, likes to take an occasional spinning class at Psycle in Marshall Township, a gym owned by his father, Tom. Stationary bikes are used in the class while the instructor plays music and guides students through various workout phases.

For his personal project, Charlie said he decided to take his passion for staying active and encourage other students to do the same in several ways.

He is inviting students, ages 14 and older, to take a full Psycle 60 class, an hour class taught his father. At the classes, Tom Kristo will talk about ways in which students can become healthier.

Charlie will talk about how spinners' donations will go to the YMCA to help other young people stay healthy. Classes will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday and also on Feb. 24 and March 3.

“I will talk about why I chose the Y and why I chose this event,” he said.

Students will be asked to donate $20 for each class, and the funds will be donated to the Changing Lives Campaign at the Sewickley Valley YMCA. Charlie said he hopes to raise $1,000.

Amy Richardson, YMCA director of development and communications, said last year, more than $385,000 was awarded in financial assistance to more than 1,000 individuals and families who are economically disadvantaged for child care, summer camp and other health and wellness programs.

“The Sewickley Valley YMCA anticipates an increased demand for assistance, and our most important goal has always been to ensure that no one is denied a chance to participate because of inability to pay,” she said.

“My family has always been big fans of the Y,” Charlie said.

Both his parents, Tom and Joni, grew up as YMCA members, and he and his sister, Anna. also are members.

“I used to go to Y camp every summer. I also believe that it is a great place for kids to go to get active, which is the main idea of the fundraiser,” said Charlie, who runs cross country and is involved with the student council and Spanish Club at Quaker Valley.

Richardson said Charlie's project will be a good way for participants to prepare for a Spin-A-Thon scheduled March 10 at the YMCA to also support the Changing Lives Campaign.

Charlie said he believes spinning is a good exercise for everyone.

“I chose spinning for my personal project because I believe that it is a great and fun way for people of all ages to exercise. I believe it is also a great way to raise money because people really enjoy the classes, and it is really easy to donate.

“The whole building is designed specially for spinning, so there won't be a lot of distractions from other events.”

Because the main focus of the fundraiser is to help more young people to get active, students will have first priority to the class, Charlie said, but if parents or others wish to participate or donate separately, they are welcome to do so.

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or

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