He was awarded the honor for Westchester County this past Friday after raising a total of $159,000 for cancer research.
“I felt very privileged that they even considered me in the category of Man of the Year,” said the Chappaqua resident. “I have very big shoes to fill.”
Tugendhaft's mission for the 10-week campaign was to raise enough money to pay for two separate research programs. One honors his friend Joan Richman and the other pays tribute to his friends Jacques and Viviane Snoek from Holland, his native country. Thanks to the donations from his generous supporters, Tugendhaft achieved his goal.
Looking back, Tugendhaft said the reason he started this project was because he wanted to give back to the organization that helped save the life of a family member who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2001.
“Without the research that is being funded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, he would not be with us anymore,” Tugendhaft said.
His effort to aid the organization is not a recent development, though. Two years ago, Tugendhaft invited his clients at Saw Mill Club to trade places with him and his fellow personal trainers for an hour. The event was named “Train the Trainer,” and has since raised $15,000.
Of trading places with his clients, Tugendhaft joked, “They were mean. They had us running up and down stairs, on the treadmill, doing push-ups and other silly things.”
Now that Tugendhaft has won Man of the Year for Westchester County, he plans to participate in the Man of the Year competition at a national level.