Blythe Family Fitness holds week-long 10th anniversary celebration with community contests

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Kristina Kaufman and Ashlyn Hatley show a special box full of health and exercise-related items that was raffled off as part of the recent 10-year anniversary of Blythe Family Fitness in Pratt. The box was won by Mark Fuhr.

Pickle ball and corn hole tournaments, archery and air rifle shooting and a healthy-food cook off were all part of Blythe's 10th Anniversary celebration last week in Pratt.

"It was a great week. We really had a good response from the public, a lot of fun," said Blythe manager Kristina Kaufman.

Kaufman, and her husband Leon Kaufman, joined forces with Blythe Family Fitness in 2011, after owning their own fitness center above the Sears store downtown Pratt since 2004.

"We were so glad that we were asked to join in this new fitness center here," Kaufman said. "There's never been a dull moment since."

In addition to serving as a focal point for community fitness, with state-of-the-art weight lifting and cardiac equipment, the Blythe has activities for all ages with Jacks After School program for kids, Retirefit 60+ exercise and mobility classes for the older generation, plus spin, yoga, racquetball, Tai Chi'Chuan, and much more.

"I'm always open to new ideas," Kaufman said. "A lot of learning and new adventures take place here."

For their anniversary celebration, Blythe began last week Monday with archery and air rifle shooting opportunities, with participants assisted by the Pratt High School Archery Club. Children of all ages and family groups took lessons, and took aim at targets sponsored by Shooter's Corner of Pratt.

On Tuesday, August 11, the cooks of the community stepped up and competed in a cook-off that featured 6 couples and individual entries. Matt Hueslig and Addie Poe won the competition with their take on chicken fajitas with homemade guacamole and mango salsa. Second place went to Dennis Melroy who brought in his favorite chicken caprese creation. Pratt Regional Medical Center sponsored the prizes of the day.

A trampoline clinic schedule for Wednesday, August 12 had to be rescheduled for September, but the corn hole tournament brought competitive teams from near and far into the Blythe gyms. A team from Kiowa County of Brandon Gilchrist and Jordan Smith won the bean-toss, and walked away with gift cards and exercise-related prizes.

On Thursday and Friday, pickle ball tournaments created a fun atmosphere in the gyms as 8 teams vied for championship rights. 

"We has some people just coming in off the street to play because they heard about what was going on," Kaufman said. "It's a really fun game to learn and play. We are always thankful for Sandy Dobbs who is a big proponent of pickle ball and loves to play it."

For Kaufman, who along with 11 other employees including Leon - fitness trainer and Retirefit 60+ instructor, Tammie Sanko - childcare manager and Ashley Austin - front desk manager, personal trainer, yoga and HIIT instructor, coming to work every day at a modern facility like Blythe Family Fitness is a joy.

"The past 10 years have gone by so fast," Kaufman said. "I love the people here. There is always something new going on. I just love to be able to interact and visit with our customers who become our friends and associates. We are so blessed to be here, at this place, and to have Blythe Family Fitness in Pratt."