Blog Posts


Impact Fitness Supports Michigan Hand Cyclist’s Goal of Making Boston Marathon

Born with spina bifida, which left him paralyzed from the waist down, Nick Nieboer kept his competitive spirit and love of sports alive, focusing on building his upper body strength. This spring he set out to participate in the Boston Marathon.  

Since winters make outdoor training impossible for the 20-year-old hand cyclist, Nieboer began working out at Impact Fitness’ Kalamazoo Planet Fitness® location. He also found support in fitness trainer Devon Lesnek, a marketing graduate from Western Michigan University who has been with PF® for two years. 

Nieboer approached PF® regarding potential sponsorship for the Boston event whether through gear or assistance with the qualifying fee for the marathon. “Devon and I immediately started brainstorming different ways we could get involved and how we could help,” said Regional Manager Shawn Hoover. Together, Lesnek and Hoover worked with Impact Fitness’ head of marketing to devise the plan to host a fundraiser for Nieboer.  

Free and open to the public, the fundraiser included free food from QDOBA and Erbellis, PF swag giveaways, live remote from 103.3 KFR and the chance to win a 12-month Black Card® membership. However, the big reveal was for Nieboer himself. “The big surprise we had planned for Nick was the new hand bike we revealed at the party that he would be able to use while at PF,” Hoover said. 

“The staff has been so helpful and encouraging, and their support of my handcycling racing endeavors means a great deal to me. I am so grateful for their financial support as I face the expenses associated with going to the Boston Marathon in April and the upkeep of my racing bike, Nieboer told Fox 17. 

Assisting Nieboer in his journey was a reward for those at Impact Fitness as well. 

“Being able to help Nick, both physically and financially, in his journey is a real joy,” said Chris Klebba, CEO of Impact Fitness, in the FOX 17 report. “Bringing the Kalamazoo community together at our local Planet Fitness in support of this young man as he works to achieve his goals is at the heart of our organization’s focus to connect, encourage and support members in an impactful way.” 

Nick’s personality and perseverance has inspired numerous members to overcome obstacles that they themselves have experienced throughout their fitness journeys,” Hoover added. “Any time we can make a special impact on a member it helps remind us what our goal and mission is really all about. Nick’s story and the way we were able to help him is a perfect example of why we, at Impact Fitness, exist to serve, to inspire, to support and to change lives.


PF Michigan Group Builds Mini Judgement Free Zone at Detroit Police Department

In June, PF Michigan Group opened their newest Mini Judgement Free Zone® to the officers of the Detroit Police Department training center. The 4,248squarefoot facility will serve several hundred recruits as they train for their upcoming positions with the department. Detroit Police Chief James Craig, along with several hundred officers and recruits, attended a ribboncutting ceremony with PF Michigan Group corporate staff.  

PF Michigan Group has a growing relationship with the Detroit Police Department. They have assisted with providing facilities for the 11th and 12th precincts and are currently planning to collaborate on more events in the future. “We are so appreciative of their service and know that a modern fitness center would be very beneficial to them as they train for their jobs in law enforcement,” said Mary Scott, director of marketing for PF Michigan Group.     

The space for the Mini JFZ required an extensive overhaul, and with PF Michigan Group’s assistance, all materials and equipment for the space were donatedAfter a four-week renovation, the fully equipped center is complete with new floors, walls, PF®’s signature colors and inspirational messages replicating the Planet Fitness ® environment. The facility has plenty of cardio and strength equipment that will come in handy for the new police recruits.  

“As a company, one of our main goals is to continually give back to the communities that are so supportive of us,” said Bryan Rief, co-owner of PF Michigan Group. “The men and women of the Detroit Police Department work hard to keep our community safe, and this is a small way we can thank them for their service.” 


Impact Fitness Partners With South Bend Medical Foundation on Critical Blood Drives

When it comes to establishing relationships in its markets, Impact Fitness continually strives to create partnerships with local businesses and establishments in the communities where its 28 clubs are located. That’s why, when one of Impact’s local partners let the group know of South Bend Medical Foundation’s critical need for blood, the franchise group was quick to step up to the challenge. 

We strive to make relationships and understand the communities where all of our locations are. Each club spends time researching their local area for the best opportunities to impact our communities,” said Regional Manager Rory Storrs. We feel the events that we choose to sponsor are the best drivers of our communities. Our goal is to impact as many individuals as possible. Therefore, we feel our efforts to stay involved are felt and appreciated by our communities. 

With plans to host blood donation drives at the Goshen and Elkhart, Indiana, PF® locations, Impact Fitness decided what better idea than to pair the event with Planet Fitness® Pizza Monday. Almost two dozen participants were able to donate blood to the South Bend Medical Foundation, and each location held a raffle drawing for a free six-month membership during the blood drives. 

“We are grateful to be able to help the community give the gift of life through this partnership, which is perfectly in line with our company focus on positively impacting lives,” said Adam Willaeys, CEO of Impact Fitness, in news coverage of the event. “We look forward to hosting more blood drives with South Bend Medical Foundation on an ongoing basis.” 

Impact Fitness’ event calendar for the remainder of 2019 is full, including another blood drive and the group’s events through the Boys and Girls Club such as Color 4 Kids, the Ainley Golf Outing, a BBQ & Brew Fest and a Fight for Parkinson’s bowling event.

“We are hoping that this blood drive partnered with Planet Fitness will give the opportunity to the Goshen area and other locations to help out the community in donating blood,” said Dasha Ogden, phlebotomist at South Bend Medical Foundation. “There is a constant need for regular blood supply because blood can only be stored for a limited time before use. Regular blood donations by a sufficient number of healthy people are needed to ensure that safe blood will be available whenever and wherever it is needed for our community.” 


Sunshine Fitness Members Reunited After One Saves the Other’s Life

In November, Sam Palacio was finishing his workout at Sunshine Fitness’s Planet Fitness location in Palm Bay, Florida, when just a few feet away Mike DuBois suffered a massive heart attack. 

Palacio jumped into action, performing CPR while the location’s manager retrieved the AED. Once the AED was no longer applicable, Palacio, a donor services team leader and phlebotomist with OneBloodagain conducted CPR until paramedics arrived.  

Sunshine Fitness certifies staff in CPR annually, along with providing AED training, for situations just like this one. “We put the safety, health and well-being of our members first,” said Lynne Knowles, assistant to the vice president of operations. “We ensure emergency personnel are called regardless of the situation to have the member checked out and to give them the option of seeking further emergency treatment. Our members come first, and we want to make sure they are safe and happy.” 

Upon arrival at the hospital, DuBois underwent surgery where it was discovered he had a 100 percent blockage of an artery to his heart. A stent was inserted to clear the blockage.  

During his recovery, Dubois began seeking out the man who had saved his life. DuBois was able to track down Palacio through his best friend who is a regular blood donor at the bloodmobile where Palacio works. In April, OneBlood brought the two men together to reconnect. 

With plans to recognize the two men this summer, Knowles said the incident embodies fully the culture and atmosphere of Sunshine Fitness and PF. “Our culture is to develop friendships and put our members first and create aatmosphere where our staff are taking care of members and our members are taking care of members,” she said. “Everyone knows each other by their first name. This is somewhere a member can come in and feel comfortable and not feel judged. It truly is the kindness and compassion of the Judgement Free Zone.” 


United PF Partners Opens Two New Locations

Earlier this year, United PF Partners added two new clubs to its portfolio, bringing its total to 124 locations across 10 states 

This spring, Kansas City, Missouri, and Rostraver Township, Pennsylvania, each welcomed a new, 18,000squarefooPlanet Fitness® club to its community complete with a grand celebration. 

On May 7, during the Kansas City grandopening celebration, city leaders, including the mayor, Congressmen and councilmen, and staff of Greater Kansas City, joined in for the ribbon cutting and a check presentation of $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City.  

In addition, United PF Partners held an open house event for the community on May 11. United PF Partners invited the immediate neighborhoods to participate in ainstructor-led workout or simply use the club for free that day. The open house was complete with free barbecue from Gates Bar-B-Q, kid’s activities and performances by the local Marching Cobras drill team in the parking lot. Hot 103 Jamz! pumped up the crowd and provided giveaways, including Mary J. Blige and Nas tickets, along with station-branded giveaways.  

The event was a big success and allowed us to cement ourselves as part of the community,” said Erin Tuller, senior marketing coordinator for UPF. “For this club, it was very important to leverage a relationship with a local PR firm, Phillips-West. They had a history of promoting similar business openings in the neighborhood. We wanted to be sure that we did not inadvertently alienate any of the immediate neighborhood groups, associations, chambers, etc. Phillips-West helped us determine which chambers would have the most impact for our club as well as navigate our immersion into the community. 

On April 11, during the grandopening celebration of the Rostraver Township location, United PF Partners presented a $5,000 donation to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region and had a ribboncutting ceremony, which included representatives from the Big Brothers Big Sisters along with staff of the Greater Rostraver Chamber of Commerce.  

We focus on creating a space where everyone in the community feels accepted and respected. We were happy to partner and take part in promoting the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Laurel Region, whose values truly align with our initiatives here at Planet Fitness,” said Gary Williams, regional director of United PF Partners. “We are very excited and thankful to have been welcomed to the Rostraver community with open arms.” 

With opening new clubs comes little hiccups here and there, and United PF Partners ran into a small problem with naming the club. “Historically, the area had been known as Belle Vernon. However, the community had been wanting its own identity separate from Belle Vernon and was in the middle of lobbying the state and U.S. Postal Service to officially change the name to Rostraver Township,” said Williams. We decided to go with what our member community identified with most strongly. Welcome, PF Rostraver!