Smithtown and Riverhead towns face off in ‘Battle of the Towns’ wellness challenge for charity


This spring, active and healthy Smithtown and Riverhead residents will help not only themselves, but their neighbors in need.

The Towns of Smithtown and Riverhead kicked off their second annual “Battle of the Towns” wellness last week. Proceeds from the event benefit two local food pantries, the Smithtown Food Pantry and the Church of the Harvest in Riverhead.

“This is a great way to shed some winter weight and get back into shape as we embrace the start of spring,” Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim said. “The best part is that you are doing it all for the worthiest cause, which in all honesty, can be a great motivation on those rainy days.”

Wehrheim added that donations from last year’s wellness challenge benefited the construction of a pop-up market at the food pantry. The project remains in the works to provide families the shopping experience and nutritional needs and preferences.

“I have all the confidence in our great community that we’ll double last year’s donation so that the Food Pantry can complete this incredible new addition,” Wehrheim said.

To participate, download the Kilter app

The virtual fitness fundraiser runs through Saturday, April 16. To participate, residents can register for the event through the Kilter mobile app.

Participants then log their wellness activities, which includes not only exercise, but meditation and volunteer work as well.

Through gym check-ins or manual entries on the app, each participant earns points. The top four point earners in their respective towns will be entered into a raffle drawing. One competitor in each town will win a gift card to a local business.

Last year, the Town of Riverhead reigned victorious with the most activity points logged, and they are hoping to hold onto the trophy another year.

“I think we’re going to do really well, and I believe we will win again in 2022,” said Ashley Schandel, the assistant recreation program coordinator for the Town of Riverhead. “We have a lot of motivated people here in Riverhead, and it’s all for a good cause, while we’re trying to stay healthy for the upcoming summer.”

Community members and employees of both townships are encouraged to invite friends and family to compete, regardless of where they reside.

For Smithtown residents, registration is $25, which includes a $20 donation at the end of the event.

For Riverhead residents, registration is $30 — with the additional cost covering an included t-shirt.

Top: Photo captured by Jenny Hill, courtesy of Unsplash.