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A Reason to Run

September 8, 2016

By David Chesnick

Posted in: Sun N Fun

Every morning at 4:30, Cyndey Cammarata’s alarm goes off. She puts on her running shorts and shoes, grabs a protein bar and her ever-present water bottle, slips quietly out her front door in Siesta Key and runs eight to ten miles over the next hour and a half. Afterward, she does some conditioning, lifting light weights and stretching.

Then Cydney, Sun-N-Fun’s newest Lifestyle team member, makes herself some oatmeal with egg whites and big scoops of peanut butter or has her high-protein egg whites with salsa, avocado, and mango in a whole wheat burrito. But just before you start to think this young lady may be some health nut, she admits her diet isn’t perfect and that she does yield to temptation. She’s got to have a cup of coffee before going out the door to work and she absolutely, positively can’t resist her Dad’s pizza.

Right now, she’s busy training for the Chicago Marathon this October. It’s an event to raise awareness of and money for Epilepsy research. It’s only one of the many races this community service oriented young woman has run and charities she’s helped. She’s competed in half marathons at Disney for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Narragansett Summer Run to raise funds for the Special Olympics.

“I know there are people who need help, so I get involved. They want to participate but for whatever reason, they can’t. So I try to participate for them. Every time I hit a wall running I think of them. They’re my inspiration to keep going. People need to see more good in the world and do what they can to help create it,” is how Cydney explains her passion for making a difference.

You can help Cydney get to Chicago by pledging to help her reach her goal by making a contribution on her donation page.

Running is only one of the multitude of activities that this lover of the outdoors does to keep active and challenge herself. Cydney started college at Johnson & Whales in Miami majoring in event management, something she puts to use at Sun-N-Fun planning everything from birthday parties to family reunions. But when she heard about a program at Washington County Calais in Maine for Outdoor Adventure Tourism, she quickly transferred.

It was there she earned her Whitewater Kayaking Certificate, Sailing License, and Mountain Climbing Certificate. She’s put all of them to practice: kayaking in Calais, sailing from Boston to Canada, mountain climbing in Colorado and conquering Maine’s tallest peak.

“I like to challenge myself because I believe you’ve got to live life to the fullest. That’s what I want to do every day,” she says.

A Boston native, Cyndey's family inspired her love of the outdoors and it’s from them that she gets her love of adventure. Mom is a runner; Dad's a golfer, big brother Nick played professional ice hockey in Italy, and older sister Hayley is a dedicated gym rat.

“Mom and Dad always had me outdoors, climbing trees, scraping my knees, and getting dirty,” she says. “I was one of those kids that played outdoors until the sun went down.”

Cyndey’s concern for the community, active lifestyle, and love of the outdoors makes her ideally suited for the work she’s doing at Sun-N-Fun. She’s the person our winter guests can turn to for advice on places they’ll want to enjoy outside the bubble, whether it’s biking around Siesta Key, taking a hike and spotting gators in Myakka State Park, or kayaking in the mangroves around Lido Beach.

In addition to booking special events at the Resort, Cydney is one of the Facebook editors for Camp Sun-N-Fun. She posts videos, pictures, and comments that not only capture the fun the kids have but the friendships they form, as well as the extraordinary things they get to witness, like Program Coordinator Miss Lisa releasing a butterfly.

“Our Facebook page is a great way for everyone to get involved,” she says.

She also helps to supervise the Rec Team that oversees the incredibly popular Wibit Obstacle Course, the Mega slide, the Meltdown, the Jumping Pad and that favorite of the little ones, Xtreme Barnyard with Angus the Cow.

Cydney satisfies her creative side by helping come up with ideas and plan special events for our theme weekends. From handmade cards with messages of love for Mother’s Day to tie-dye t-shirts to pretzel sticks with red white and blue jimmies for our July 4th to donuts and pastries for Visitor Appreciation Day – there goes that diet. It all keeps her busy, and she loves being busy.

We’re happy to welcome this new member of the Sun-N-Fun Team, who plans on joining in the many community support events both the Sun-N-Fun Team and our residents get involved in year round. We believe that her active lifestyle and commitment to community embody the best of Sun Communities.

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