Blog Posts

Anchor Management Assists Community Food Banks During Crisis

When the coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S., communities across the country were deeply impacted. The crisis wrought by COVID-19 left many families struggling to put food on the table, so Anchor Management’s Planet Fitness® teams in the Wilmington, North Carolina, area stepped in to assist residents. 

Franchisee Alex Choquette and Anchor Management made a $25,000 donation to the food banks serving the Myrtle Beach area. In addition, Choquette and Anchor Storage Solutions invested in nine portable storage units that were designated as mobile food collection sites. More than 8,000 items were donated in just the first week! 

Choquette also works with local supermarkets to collect donations by placing food collection bins inside and outside the stores. The collections are gathered each Wednesday to better assist the food banks in meeting residents’ needs.  

Although its clubs were closed, Anchor Management’s team members were focused on giving back during the spring. Members of the PF team volunteered their time to travel more than an hour to serve at the Salvation Army and area churches assisting people, along with donating food to the Myrtle Beach Community Kitchen.  

“Giving back to our community is at the heart of what Anchor Management stands for,” said Choquette. “I am proud of our team and the kindness and generosity shown during this time when so many around the world and here at home have been impacted.” 

Baseline Fitness Shows Support for Team Members During Pandemic

Following the closure of gyms during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group from Baseline Fitness, owned by Scott Majkrzak, decided to create a financial support fund to assist fellow team members. “They wanted to start a donation pool designed to help any Baseline Fitness team member who may have needed financial assistance quickly during this period of hardship,” explained Majkrzak.

The spearheads of the project, dubbed the Baseline Support Team, developed an electronic application process for team members to apply for assistance. Between virtual fundraising events and donations, the team raised over $28,000 in just two months. All these funds are going directly to team members who need them most. Relief will be given for unexpected medical bills, funeral expenses or other emergencies.

The support team helped many team members with varying degrees of financial support and plans to continue doing so as clubs reopen and adapt their operations. Majkrzak noted that the group has seen a 96% retention rate of those who have received assistance.

The team also started a weekly e-communication called Wellness Wednesday that goes to everyone in the company as another way to show support. The updates have themes centered around personal development and well-being.

The motto of the support team is “team members supporting team members.” During good and bad times, Baseline Fitness team members know that they can count on one another. “While we know these tough times won’t last, our people have proven that tough teams do,” said Majkrzak. “While this time has been difficult for all, we are proud that some positive initiatives have come out of it.”

Atlanta Marketing Co-Op Donation Fights Food Insecurity in Metro Area

In May, as many Planet Fitness® locations in Georgia began reopening, the Atlanta Marketing Co-Op took the opportunity to think of others impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The 46-club co-op donated $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta to support the nonprofit’s efforts to fight food insecurity. With school closures, many BGCA youth were left without meals provided through the education system. 

“We felt there was a need to help in Atlanta, and food insecurity is a major issue for families in this area. We saw a drastic jump in need due to the loss of jobs from COVID-19,” said Stanley DeMartinis Jr., franchisee with Alder Partners, which has locations in and around Atlanta. “We tried to determine the best way to help the community and reached out to our partners at BGCA. They were able to explain how many families were in need and how they were helping them while keeping their doors closed. It seemed a perfect fit to work with them.” 

The contribution from PF® was directed toward the clubs’ weekly drive-up meal delivery program and food insecurity task force. The six drive-up locations served some 6,000 meals each week to families in metro Atlanta, providing more than 17,500 bags of food since March. The PF donation funded roughly 350 meal bags for BGCA youth. Each bag contained a recipe card and the ingredients necessary to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for an entire family.  

For Easy Mile Fitness franchisee Philip Amato, whose organization is part of the Atlanta Co-Op, Planet Fitness is all about impacting people’s lives and COVID-19 wasn’t going to prevent PF from continuing to give back to the community. “While our gyms were closed, at our core we still wanted to be making a positive impact on someone’s life in any way we could, and we thought this donation was that opportunity,” he explained. “When we open a Planet Fitness location, it is not just another retail shop, but it, more often than not, becomes a part of the local community. We want to be there for people who have been there for us, particularly when times are tough.” 

Once summer break began for Atlanta schools, PF funds were reallocated to stuffing backpacks with enough food to feed a family of four for a week. The Boys & Girls Clubs designate the backpacks for those members whose families are most in need. In addition, a soccer ball was included for each family to help promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.  

“At Planet Fitness, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to help change people’s lives every day through fitness,” said DeMartinis. “We are proud and honored to be able to give back to the communities in and around Atlanta that have supported our brand for the past 10 years.” 

PF Houston Provides Hundreds of Meals to Community

During the COVID-19 pandemic, PF Houston, owned by franchisees Scott Sanders and Jon Evans, decided to continue classic Planet Fitness® traditions through its club closures. While typical Pizza Monday and Bagel Tuesday festivities were momentarily put on hold, PF Houston brought these treats to workers on the front lines.  

Each Tuesday in April, bagels were distributed to 13 different police stations in the Houston area. PF® staff reached out to Panera Bread locations, which sent delivery drivers to each station. This method allowed for the clubs to do something meaningful while still following social-distancing guidelines. 

In addition to bagels, the company also continued its pizza tradition by passing out pizza to members of the community. On April 20, PF Houston arranged a delivery of over 250 pizzas to Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. The pizzas fed more than 1,000 hospital staff members, including nurses, doctors and administrators.  

“We wanted to do our part to show our appreciation and sincere thanks to those in our community in critical service roles,” said Abby Belaire, marketing communications coordinator for PF Houston. “We have received a lot of positive and appreciative feedback through emails and thank-you notes from both the police stations and hospital.” 

The company also showed its support to students at Pro-Vision High School who have had their academic year cut short due to the pandemic. The school set up a drive-thru for students and their families to pick up pizzas paid for by Planet Fitness, feeding about 60 families.  

The school also hosted a virtual ceremony to celebrate seniors’ accomplishments, and PF Houston provided pizza to 80 seniors for this event. “Planet Fitness Houston is excited that we can give these students some sort of normalcy during these times,” said Belaire. “Senior year is such a memorable year, and we are happy to help in any way that we can.” 

Segler Enterprises Opens Mini Judgement Free Zone at Local Boys & Girls Club

The Planet Fitness® in McAllen, Texas, owned by Segler Enterprises, recently gave back to the youth in their community by building a mini Judgement Free Zone® (JFZ) at the McAllen Boys & Girls Club. The process took approximately seven months, beginning in February 2019 with a grand-opening celebration in September 2019.  

Regional Manager Sarai Rodriguez, McAllen General Manager Viridiana Puente and Assistant Manager Aaron Barrientes helped build the mini JFZ. The process involved going into the Boys & Girls Club and evaluating the available space, picking out appropriate equipment for the children and renovating the space to match PF® colors and branding.  

On Sept. 20, a grand opening was held to reveal the new fitness space to the children of the Boys & Girls Club. Members of the McAllen City Council and Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors were also in attendance for the unveiling.  

PF trainers Diana Sanchez and Chyenne Ruiz helped with introducing equipment to the children. “The kids absolutely loved the space and were eager to start using it,” said Puente. “We are excited to be more involved and bring more value to our youth.”