WALLINGFORD — A local woman is a finalist in an international fitness contest with a grand prize of $20,000.
Ann Marie Svogun is currently in first place in the U.S. category of the 2019 Ms. Health and Fitness Contest. If she eventually wins, Svogun will represent the United States in international competitions with women from countries like Egypt, Spain, Portugal and Canada.
“What’s really cool is that I started this journey not really knowing what I got myself into,” she said. “The contest has definitely taken a life of it’s own.”
Svogun is in the running for a $20,000 cash prize and a two-page spread in Muscle and Fitness Hers magazine, a national publication. The competition ends August 24. She said anyone can vote once a day online for free or purchase a Warrior vote, which will count as two votes. Svogun said the proceeds of the purchased votes will go to the Wounded Warriors Project, a cause that is special to her because her husband served in the Navy.
“It’s personal, a special way to pay respect to my husband and larger (military) community,” she said.
Svogun said if she wins she will donate a portion of her prize money to the United Way of Meriden and Wallingford. She chose the nonprofit because it focuses on health and education.
“The United Way was my top choice… they have a child nutrition program during the school year,” Svogun said. “It just made sense.”
United Way Executive Director Maria Harlow said Svogun is a very inspiring.
“It is so exciting to see someone in the community that’s doing something so bold and so big,” Harlow said. “To be the recipient (of the donation), we feel honored.”
Harlow said she hopes that the town will support her by voting for her online.
“This is very impressive and exciting,” she said. “We should support her.”
Svogun, a teacher, started The Fit Blonde LLC. last year, which allows her to focus on her passion for fitness and health.
To vote in the contest, go to: https://mshealthandfitness.com/2019/ann-marie-svogun and click on the “Free daily vote” button.