By Bailey Wright
MERIDEN — When Noel Tufano donated to the Boys & Girls Club, she didn’t expect to win the private workout session with former Bachelorette contestant Matt Munson for Valentine’s Day.
The Meriden resident said she was “shocked” when she got the call that she had won. “I asked them if they were serious,” she said with a laugh.
On Tuesday night, Tufano, 31, did a workout circuit— shaped around the gym’s turf in a heart— with Munson, a Meriden resident also. Edge trainer Lindsay Boyles lead the pair through kettleball squats, rope battling, sit ups, and even pushing each other on a prowler across the turf.
Munson was on Season 13 of “The Bachelorette,” which aired in 2017. He made it to the final six contestants before the first African-American bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, told him goodbye. He was briefly on “The Bachelor in Paradise” as well. Munson works as a sales rep at Suzio York Hill Trap Rock Co. in Meriden.
“I saw him on (“The Bachelorette”) and I’ve seen him on “Bachelor in Paradise” all those times and I just never realized he was from Meriden until I really looked it up one season,” Tufano said. She said she felt compelled to donate to the Boys & Girls Club and getting to workout with Munson was a surprising extra perk.
Anyone could enter the Valentine’s Day themed sweepstakes by donating to the Boys & Girls Club of Meriden, where Munson said he’s been coaching basketball for about 12 years.
“A big part of my passion is working with the kids to teach them to become... better young men and learn to be active, take care of themselves, be on time for practice and show up to practice... I think all those go hand and hand with The Edge and everything they bring to the gyms,” Munson said.
Munson said he gets to coach alongside a former Boys & Girls Club mentor of his, Lou Bertagna, who he said brought him into the club after college and taught him that coaching basketball was not just about teaching the game, but teaching the kids how to be decent people.
Marketing Coordinator for The Edge, Laura Altieri, said they decided to do the donation-based event after learning that Munson was an Edge member and getting connected through fans of the show.
“He’s been a member since we opened in Meriden, which is pretty cool,” Altieri said. “So we figured Valentine’s Day and pairing the workout, that would get the members excited and get them involved.”
The Edge VP of Marketing Gillian Plummer also said the gym loves to give back to the community and so they found a donation-based event merged well with Munson’s Boys & Girls Club involvement.
“A lot of nonprofit work are very private moments… so it’s sort of nice to put a spotlight on the great work, as a team, that the Boys & Girls club of Meriden puts forward,” Milt Coon, Boys & Girls Club of Meriden resource development director said.
Munson’s also been working with the gym to get his Personal Training Certification, which he hopes to use this spring or summer.
“I want to be taking on clients of all ages, and anybody that has an interest in bettering themselves,” Munson said. “I’d love to hear from anybody who is not exactly sure how they want to go about it, but they know they want to get in the gym and start taking care of themselves.”
Anyone interested in personal training with Munson can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by private message on Instagram.