ARARAT - With The Biggest Loser: Challenge Australia finale to screen on Network Ten this Sunday night attention will soon turn to the Ararat Town Kitty that has been accumulating throughout the series.
As the 'Ararat Champions' shredded the kilos over the past three months the town was rewarded. At last reveal the total raised for the municipality was $142,720 and this could potentially increase further during Sunday night's final episode.
Ararat Rural City Mayor, Cr Paul Hooper said there was a lot of interest in the community about who is in control of The Biggest Loser money.
"We are often asked about the 'Kitty Committee', it is one of the most frequent questions that I get," he said.
"It is not Council controlled and in fact we are just the banker."
The committee consists of three local contestants from The Biggest Loser, one Ararat Rural City employee, one East Grampians Health Service employee and one representative from the Healthy Together program.
Cr Hooper said the funds have been kept in trust and the committee is continuing to work towards how best to spend the money.
"The committee, contrary to public perception, cannot invest dollars into infrastructure," he said.
"The committee, as I have been advised, have become very active in promoting events such as the free monthly activities while at the same time the community challenge activities continue on a daily basis around our municipality and you can see that on our Healthy Together website and our own website and in the paper."
Last week it was announced that the town of Ararat had lost a collective weight of 39,550kg since starting The Biggest Loser, smashing the 26,000kg target set.
Cr Hooper said a number of health and recreation events are hoped to be staged in the coming months to continue the legacy set including a bootcamp hosted by trainer Shannan Ponton during the long weekend in June and a major health conference in October in conjunction with the opening of the new community centre at Alexandra Oval.
These events will complement initiatives already established such as the Active Ararat City program, which will be featuring at the Regional Victoria Living Expo beginning today.
Five contestants from The Biggest Loser including three of the finalists, Katrina Pianta, Craig Booby and Sharon Basset, along with Caitlin Munday and Jane Jantzen will be at the Ararat Rural City stand at the expo to share their experiences on the show, their weight loss journey and to also chat about what makes Ararat a fantastic place to live.