2018 Illumination Award Honorees
Corporate Wellness Partner
AMADEN GAY AGENCIES
For over 100 years, Amaden Gay Agencies has been providing insurance solutions
for discerning clients in the Hamptons, throughout the United States, and
internationally. Led by forward thinkers, Amaden Gay partnered with Wellness
Foundation in 2009 to sponsor our first Corporate Wellness Challenge. James
Amaden says, "The Wellness Challenge was the catalyst for numerous wellness
initiatives at our agency. It allowed our employees to make healthy and lasting
lifestyle changes and we are proud to support their great work." Some of these
initiatives have included fitness challenges, office yoga, and getting up one minute
every hour to exercise.
The team at Amaden Gay believes that businesses have a responsibility to both
initiate and support wellness opportunities; they know that being healthy benefits
not only individuals, but also their families and community. We are so grateful to
Amaden Gay for golfing in honor of Wellness Foundation at the Chubb Charity Golf
Tournament last year and donating $10,000 to our programs!
AMBER WAVES FARM
Amber Waves Farm founders, Katie Baldwin and Amanda Merrow, know that when
it comes to wellness, we reap what we sow. Having founded Amber Waves in 2009
on an acre of empty field and their combined savings of $5,000, they are two of the
most hard-working and inspiring individuals in our community. Katie and Amanda
are driven by their desire to share the story of real food with their community,
which they do through their various program areas—their Community Supported
Agriculture (CSA) Program, Food Education Program, Apprenticeship Program, and
the Amagansett Wheat Project.
Over the last nine years, Amber Waves has increased their vegetable production
from a single acre to eight acres in order to support their CSA program, which has
grown from 18 members to more than 160 families. They have increased their
wheat cultivation from a single acre to 15 acres, and their Apprenticeship Program
has turned out 14 aspiring farmers, all of whom are actively working in food and
agriculture since completing their apprenticeship. For the past few years, Amber
Waves has partnered with Wellness Foundation to bring our WKids Farm Fresh
Cooking Series to kids and families on the East End. We look forward to more fun
and food with them this summer!
Wellness Zone School Leaders
Beth Doyle has been the principal of John M. Marshall Elementary School in East
Hampton for the past five years. During her tenure, she has partnered with Wellness
Foundation to present our WKids In School programs to JMMES students. It was
through Beth's conversations with students, families, and Wellness Foundation staff
that she realized she needed to do more to promote wellness in her school. This
year, under Beth's leadership, JMMES collaborated with Wellness Foundation and
became the first School Wellness Zone on the East End!
Beth knows that nutrition education is essential—her students don't just learn it,
they live it by practicing mindful moments throughout the school day, taking brain
breaks for physical activity, drinking more water, and choosing healthier foods at
mealtime. Beth's commitment to wellness is inspired by her own father, who passed
away at age 53 due to complications from diabetes that could have been prevented
if he'd had the tools and education that Beth is so passionate about bringing to her
students. Her other inspiration is her beautiful four year-old daughter, who will be
attending JMMES next year.
Transitioning students and families into healthier habits is not always easy, but Beth
remains steadfast in her commitment to the wellness of her students. Her courage in
standing up for what she believes in and her dedication to the health of her school
and community are among the many reasons we salute Beth as a Wellness
Shawn Smith is the sixth-grade health teacher at Southampton Intermediate School
(SIS), as well as a coach and role model to students both inside the classroom and
out on the fields. Shawn's enthusiasm for finding creative ways to help his students
relate to different concepts and engage them in the learning makes all the
difference. He played an integral part both in launching the WKids Healthy Food for
Life program at SIS and contributing ideas to make it an even greater success. This
year, Shawn also took on the role of WKids Coach, teaching two of the class sections
In addition to his work teaching and coaching, Shawn has also co-founded a non-
profit dedicated to helping kids; it focuses on promoting academics, healthy choices,
and optimal mental health and well-being. For these reasons and more, we are proud
to honor Shawn as a Wellness Champion.
WKids Wellness Champions
Chris has always been active, but during the WKids Healthy Food for Life program, he
realized that he was spending a lot of time watching TV when he could be getting
more exercise. He hadn't been aware of just how harmful sitting for long periods of
time can be. Chris began cutting back on his screen time and, instead, playing soccer
or jogging with his father. He also started swapping his usual after-school snack of
sugary cereal for fruits and veggies. For Chris, one of the biggest take-aways from
this program is that he has much more control over his health than he had realized.
We are proud of Chris and happy to honor him as a Wellness Champion.
Kyla was raised with a strong understanding of healthy food and habits. But after
taking WKids Healthy Food for Life, she became even more aware of the harmful
effects of sugar and unhealthy fats, and she took action to eliminate them from her
diet. After looking at the label on her ice cream, Kyla started to instead make
smoothies for dessert! Her favorite includes kale, mango, strawberries, and
raspberries, but she likes to switch her smoothies frequently, having fun
experimenting with different fruits and veggies. Kyla is happy to have made this
change; in addition to feeling better herself, she is pleased that it also lets her family
know just how much she cares about them. It is with great pride that we honor Kyla
as a Wellness Champion.
Wellness Challenge Champions
Emergency room doctors diagnosed Rob Covalito with high cholesterol, high blood
pressure, and a high heart rate. And as Rob puts it, "they scared the daylights out of
me." Around the same time, another group of doctors told him he had pre-stage 1
esophageal cancer. Overwhelmed by all the gloomy news, Rob realizedthat some
lifestyle habits needed to change.
Fast-forward one year, and Rob's health is improving every day. A recent endoscopy
showed he is now cancer-free—his esophagus is as good as new. Off one
prescription medication, Rob's on a mission to eliminate the other meds, too. For
Rob and his wife, Lori, it was immersing themselves in the Wellness Challenge
lifestyle that started Rob on the road to wellness.
Rob tells us, "I have completely turned my health around, and I'm on my way to a
much healthier and happier life."
Postscript: It's interesting how Rob was introduced to Wellness Foundation—he plays
in the MTK band that entertains our guests at the Summer Benefit!
Wellness Challenge Champion, Noelle Marcantonio, is a living wonder. After being
diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain abnormality four years ago, Noelle was told
to get her affairs in order. She did as she was advised, but she didn't give up. Instead,
she grabbed onto the Wellness Challenge 360 lifestyle. Now that Noelle has dropped
three dress sizes, cut her need for medication dramatically, eased the disabling
consequences of thirty years of rheumatoid arthritis, and her brain abnormality
For good reason, Noelle has been 100% compliant with the program's
recommendations. She believes it's "the most sustainable, practical, effective and
integrated program available." Noelle is living proof that this way of living can
Community Medical Partner
Erin is a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner at East Hampton Family
Medicine. She is also a Wellness Challenge graduate. Having improved her own
health through this life-changing program, Erin has gone on to refer many of her
patients to the program as well. Knowing that the optimal cure for chronic diseases
such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes is prevention, Erin recommends Wellness
Challenge 360 to her patients because it provides the education and support they
need to embrace and make lasting lifestyle changes. After completing the Challenge
herself, Erin said that "because I was eating cleaner and healthier, I improved my
health and had so much more energy." Erin is not only improving her own health by
embracing a plant-based lifestyle, she is also improving the health of our community
by lighting the way to wellness for her patients.
W Restaurant Partner
Sabrosa Mexican Grill has been part of the W Restaurant program since the day they
opened; it is truly an oasis of delicious, nourishing, and affordable meal options.
Founder J. Andreossi is a Wellness Challenge graduate, and he recognized the
importance of being able to find healthy choices when you are out and about.
Hannah Andreossi says, "We know that our ability to stay healthy and well is
directly related to the food we eat, and everything we do is done with the wellness
of our valued customers in mind."
Sabrosa's commitment to their customers and to promoting health goes beyond the
plate. In addition to offering delicious and healthy meal options as a W Restaurant
Partner, Sabrosa also has a deep desire to give back to local charities in the
community. Each month they feature a different local charity, and, to date, they have
given over $50,000 to support local causes.
Wellness Zone Business Partner
Linda Silich is the owner and founder of Silich Core + Strength. Her company was
one of the very first Wellness Zone Businesses in our community, because Linda is
passionate about making fitness fun and accessible to everyone. We met Linda when
she attended our very first Healthy Food for Life classes with her kids at East
Hampton Middle School. She is a powerhouse of energy and passion for wellness.
Linda's clients describe her in three words: "energetic, motivating, and personable."
She lives up to that by empowering her clients with her knowledge of the body and
educating them on the importance of moving.
Linda's fitness passion began at her alma mater, Wittenberg University in Ohio, but
the real-life changer was her introduction to TRX Suspension Training in 2011.
Linda is currently ranked one of the 50 Black Ranked TRX Coaches in the country.