For the fifth year in a row, Easy Mile Fitness held toy drives in its fitness clubs in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Canada. The toy drive started Nov. 21 and ended at varying times based off the local Boys & Girls Clubs’ needs.
As of December, there were about 500 toys donated. The types of toys varied and included stuffed animals, coloring books, Nerf guns, baby dolls, Barbies, action figures and Beats headphones.
Many members were generous in their donations, especially in the group’s 11 Florida clubs. The donations in the state were highly significant because many families struggled after the damage caused by Hurricane Ian in the fall. Some families and their children lost not only their belongings but also their homes due to the storm. All items donated in the toy drive were given to a child in need.
“I think it’s pretty incredible that we’re collecting and donating toys for children, especially in light of everything that has happened recently. Our members are the best,” said Patrick Knight, a Venice, Florida, team member.
While the holidays can be a great time to spend with family, it can also be a difficult time for those on a limited income. Easy Mile Fitness recognized this and stepped in to assist the local community by collaborating with the Caja de Amor (Love Box) program of the Dream Center Esperanza nonprofit. The Dream Center Esperanza works to help children and adults in need in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. According to the nonprofit’s website, 44% of families in Puerto Rico are below the poverty line. This figure alone shows how much Easy Mile Fitness’s help is appreciated and needed.
Through the collaboration, the PF® franchise donated a box of food to 200 families in the El Cotto community in Arecibo for Thanksgiving. Each box included food items to prepare a Thanksgiving meal, including rice, beans, vegetables, potatoes and turkey or pork. The boxes each had enough food for about four people, so the group was able to feed around 800 people for the holiday. The delivery of the boxes was done in coordination with the Boys & Girls Club of Arecibo.
“We are proud to be able to contribute to this effort. We had a great opportunity to help our community, in partnership with Boys & Girls Club of Arecibo and Dream Center,” said Philip Amato, chief operating officer of Easy Mile Fitness.
In December, Easy Mile Fitness had 13 clubs in Puerto Rico, but in 2023, it plans to open four more.
Alder Partners owners Stanley and Sal DeMartinis opened their first Planet Fitness® club in 2007 in East Boston. When the location underwent renovations in 2022, the brothers ensured their late father, Stanley DeMartinis Sr., was honored at the place that began their PF® journey.
The club was renovated with a brand-new layout, a PF Black Card Spa area, as well as a Functional Training Room with a PF 360 and TRX training system. Although Alder Partners began 15 years ago in East Boston, today the franchise group operates 37 Planet Fitness locations in Georgia and Massachusetts.
Over the years, Alder Partners has remodeled many of their clubs, but the renovations on the PF East Boston club were significant. Once the remodel was complete, the DeMartinis brothers paid tribute to their father by placing a dedication plaque in the club’s lobby. The plaque honors DeMartinis’ legacy, as he had helped the DeMartinis brothers get started in the fitness industry in 1993 when they opened a World Gym.
“The work ethic my dad instilled in both of us at such a young age is what I feel really helped us get to where we are today, along with the dedication and hard work of all our employees. My dad was the glue to this business and his passing has affected us all, but I know he is proud of all we have accomplished and that is what helps keep us motivated day in and day out,” said Sal DeMartinis.
Alder Partners celebrated the grand reopening of its PF East Boston location with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a member appreciation night. There were light refreshments, PF giveaway bags and multiple raffle items, which included a 65-inch TV, Patriots tickets and Celtics tickets. On the day of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Alder Partners was joined by the East Boston Chamber of Commerce and local radio station HOT 96.9.
Additionally, the DeMartinis brothers knew how important giving back to the local community was to their dad, so they celebrated the remodeling of the club by presenting the Salesian Boys & Girls Club of East Boston with a $1,000 check.
This fall, Alder Partners opened its 27th Planet Fitness® club in Georgia. The 28,000-square-foot club in the Atlanta neighborhood of Brookhaven is now the group’s largest location.
To celebrate, Alder Partners had a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Many people came out to celebrate, including Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce and the Chamblee Boys & Girls Club. Additionally, there were special guest appearances by Atlanta Hawks Player “Big O” Onyeka Okongwu, alumni Kevin Willis and the Atlanta Hawks dancers, as well as Harry the Hawk, the official mascot of the Atlanta Hawks.
For several months before the grand opening, any new member who signed up at Planet Fitness Brookhaven was entered to win a pair of Atlanta Hawks season tickets. During the grand-opening event, a winner was chosen at random. There were other raffle items given away at the celebration, including a 55-inch smart TV and concert tickets.
The grand opening’s attendees were able to enjoy light refreshments and a live DJ, as well as Planet Fitness gift bags to take home. To show its commitment to the local community, Alder Partners presented a $1,000 donation to the Chamblee Boys & Girls Club.
In July, Taymax Group led the way for future generations by opening the first ever mini Judgement Free Zone® in Canada. With the location at the BGC West End Community Centre, Taymax will bring healthy living and fitness to more than 3,000 children in the area.
Taymax donated 28 pieces of cardio equipment, including arc trainers, ellipticals, 14 bikes and treadmills, to the space. The mini gym also began offering free structured fitness sessions for more than 700 children in September. The club provides other programs for children such as the All Female Running Club and Junior Sports League. During these programs, children train after school on treadmills and use the cardio equipment, as well as use the BGC South East facilities to participate in sports leagues such as basketball and indoor soccer.
On the day of the mini JFZ opening, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony, with Taymax President of International Jessica Sisk Roehle, Regional Marketing and Community Investment Manager Rudy Petrillo, General Manager Kimberly Traill and General Manager Patrick Leroux in attendance.
The location is all part of the Planet Fitness Judgement Free Generation initiative, designed to fight teen bullying and encourage kindness. The first ever mini JFZ in a Boys and Girls Club opened in 2016 in New Hampshire, and since then, the company has opened more than 30 mini Judgement Free Zones across the United States. Planet Fitness now has its eyes set on expanding the mini gyms further into Canada.
“Teens have so much energy, and we want to help channel and develop it in a positive way,” Executive Director BGC South East Harold Parsons said. “We know that if children start learning fitness skills early and exercising regularly, they will develop a host of physical competencies that will set them up for a healthy life.”