In 2018, a little boy named Grady Smith was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called adrenoleukodystrophy or ALD, which damages the protective covering surrounding nerve cells called myelin. This membrane controls thinking and muscles.
Luckily, Grady received a bone marrow transplant that helped save his life. Now, Grady’s family works to give back, as they know firsthand how scary it can be to have a loved one with a medical condition. They created Grady’s Gifts, a fundraiser providing holiday gifts, incentive gifts, treats and more to patients.
Taymax Group supported Grady’s Gifts for the fourth year in a row by donating $2,000 to the cause. The franchise group decided to donate because Grady is a resident near the company’s headquarters in New Hampshire, and they were moved by Grady’s desire to give back year after year.
The franchise group welcomed Grady and his family to Taymax’s HQ office where the company presented them with the donation for Grady’s Gifts and gave Grady’s family a fun surprise of Celtics tickets. Grady and his brother, Colin, also helped Taymax celebrate the opening of a new club by ringing the celebratory bell.
Last fall, PLNTF Holdings held a Sweat-A-Thon to raise money for the Planet Fitness® Boys & Girls Club Fall Fundraiser. During the Sweat-A-Thon, members could challenge a PF® trainer for a $15 donation to the cause. Anyone who beat a trainer in a chosen workout received PF merchandise as a prize.
Regional Training Director Kelsey Sloter organized the Sweat-A-Thon, which brought in $1,700. Out of the 45 clubs in Chicago that participated, there were 10 club members who beat a PF trainer. The top PF trainers were Vanessa Lopez in Forest Park, Fabricio Arana in Schaumburg and Josiah Pagan in West Foster. Club members were also allowed to donate to the program if they didn’t want to compete against a trainer.
Over the years, Planet Fitness® has shown its support for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America by donating more than $8 million. In October 2022, Planet Fitness raised $500,000 for BGCA. This money helped BGCA to continue to build inclusive and kinder communities for children.
PLNTF Holdings helped a lot in the Boys & Girls Fall Festival by raising $71,500 in its 24 locations that participated. Their Southeast team raised $42,700 of that sum. PLNTF Holdings only makes up 4% of the total number of Planet Fitness clubs, but they accounted for more than 14% of all collections for the fall fundraiser. The franchise group had 92 clubs at the time of the fundraiser.
As part of the fall fundraiser, they had a sweat-a-thon, a dunk-a-thon, a “pie in the face” contest, a “lunk or treat” event and more. These events were spread out across a month and varied market to market. In the group’s Chicago market, they held a BCGA Sweat-A-Thon, which raised $1,700.
Three clubs that stood out by going above and beyond were Jackson, Mississippi; Chicago/Ford City, Illinois; and Panama City, Florida. Each team member at all three locations received a $100 American Express gift card for their amazing contributions.
For the second year in a row, Regional Vice President Carey Turner, District Manager Mike Woolsey and General Manager Colton Branch with the Jackson, Mississippi, club had the No. 1 fundraising club in the entire Planet Fitness network.
“Having that experience of raising over $5,000 at our Byram club last year gave me the confidence to set big goals and shoot for the stars with the Jackson team this year,” said Branch. “Before the BGCA fundraiser began, the team discussed games, raffles and events we could do to get donations by focusing on members, friends, family and local businesses that want to give back to their community. We set a goal of $5,000, and I can’t explain just how proud I am of the Jackson team for raising more than $6,000.”
In Chicago, RVP Cade McDougal, DM Rachel Concua and GM Lajuwon Farley led the Ford City club to collect the most individual donations as a percentage of member count. Part of their success was seeing “no” as not a rejection but redirection.
“Before collecting donations, our team practiced with one another different methods to ask for donations,” said Farley. “Every member that came into our facility was an opportunity for a donation, and the team was tasked to ask every person that checked in if they would consider making a small donation to the Boys & Girls Club. We worked on how to manage rejection, and I explained that a ‘no’ isn’t the end of the world, but an opportunity to develop new methods of asking.”
While Panama City, Florida, finished second in the PF Corporate format, they were No. 1 overall in the PF system in total collections. DM Sara Stroups and GM Kaitlyn Beans led the effort for this club location.
“Every year, our team is extremely motivated to participate in the Boys & Girls Club Fall Fundraiser,” said Chris Short, director of communications and community engagement. “For us, being part of the fabric of the community is integral to our makeup and the way we do business. The BGCA is such a fantastic organization to partner with because we know how much they do to help the youth of this country. We commend every single member of our organization who went above and beyond to help achieve the results we did for the BCGA. They really are incredible.”