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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.”