ITHACA, N.Y. ––  Ithaca Tompkins International Airport and the Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons, organizers of the first-ever “Moment of Movement” fundraiser, are celebrating their success raising money for local families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and urging the community to continue supporting their effort.

The main event of the fundraiser, which took place Saturday, Sept. 26 on the tarmac of the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport (ITH) entailed community leaders participating in a workout led by a team from FLX Fitclub.

“Our first-ever Moment of Movement was awesome! We had a beautiful day and a wonderful event and it could not have been for a better cause,” Cathy Hart, general manager of the Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons said. “I will say, having airplanes take-off or land nearby while exercising could easily become addictive-it takes your mind off what your body is going through as you imagine where folks are headed!”

On the day of the event, approximately 30 community leaders came to work out, practicing appropriate social distancing of course, while others took part in the livestreamed workout remotely. The workout will continue to be available online until Oct. 10.

Amongst the community members on the tarmac was Mary Opperman, vice president of Human Resources at Cornell University.

“It was great to get outside on such a nice day to exercise and see others in a physically distant, safe way,” Opperman said. “The team from FLX Fitclub was wonderful and made the opportunity to move and increase our heart rates really fun. Most importantly, we were raising money in support of the youth in our community. What could be better?”

The goal of the fundraiser is to raise $100,000 to be donated to United Way of Tompkins County and Ithaca Youth Bureau in order to address the community’s need for childcare resources as caregivers re-enter the workforce and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit school and daycare options.

Donations are still being accepted through Oct. 10 and can be made online or by calling 607-500-GIVE. Those who wish to make a contribution to the fundraiser may choose which not-for-profit to support or may donate to both.

“I am so proud of our community for coming together for this great cause and am thrilled we were able to host it at ITH,” said Mike Hall Airport Manager of ITH. “This is a real testament to the strength of our community.”

Beneficiary Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Ithaca Youth Bureau programs. Donations made will support scholarships for children of all ages to participate in a variety of recreation and leisure programs that provide opportunities for young people to be active, have fun, explore interests, socialize with peers and make new friends.

United Way of Tompkins County supports program funding for supervised learning opportunities for youth, including programs supporting remote learning, “after school” activities, and recreational and enrichment programs, as well as the Child Development Council Emergency Scholarship Fund that provides support for low wage earners when they face unexpected household expenses.

Click here anytime before Oct. 10 for a recording of the free virtual workout held on Sept. 26, led by FLX Fitclub instructors Chantelle Farmer, Jenny Henion, Jessica Kerns, and Carrie Susskind.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at