Meridian Enterprises Sponsors Annual March for Babies Walk in Knoxville

On April 29, thousands of businesses and families congregated at Zoo Knoxville for the annual March for Babies event organized by the March of Dimes.

The organization reached out to a nearby Planet Fitness®, which quickly agreed to become a local sponsor. The PF® club, owned by Meridian Enterprises, provided water bottles and banners for the event.

“We want to do everything we can to support our community,” said franchisee Kira Ehly. “It’s an honor to be a part of this great event and cause.”

The event raised over $72,000, and attendees were invited to stick around and explore the zoo following the two-mile walk.

This year’s Knoxville Ambassador Family was the Vaughan Family. Ben and Rosalynn Vaughan’s twin girls, Adaline and Harper, were born at 33 weeks and have surpassed their expected progress. The girls were given surfactant, which is a March of Dimes funded agent, that allowed the twins to breathe on their own and aided in them going home from NICU nearly two months early.

“It’s a pleasure to work with March of Dimes,” said Cambrie Gagliardi, marketing director for Meridian Enterprises. “This partnership is one we want to continue.”

Anchor Management Group Employees Lend a Hand at Miracle League Baseball Games

On Saturday, April 1, nine Anchor Management Group employees volunteered at The Miracle League of Wilmington’s baseball games at Brax Stadium Miracle Field in Wilmington, North Carolina. The volunteers buddied up with the Miracle League players who have physical and mental disabilities and assisted them with running, hitting, throwing and catching.

“Our main objective was not only to assist, but also to encourage, motivate and cheer them on,” said Reid Wolfe, regional manager for Anchor Management Group. “I dressed up as Homer, the mascot, which I think was the most fun of all. I danced, high-fived and hugged many of the participants throughout the day.”

Any person with a disability, age 4 and up, is eligible to play Miracle League baseball. The specialized field is made of a flat, rubberized surface and is barrier free for players using wheelchairs, walkers and other mobility devices.

“The Miracle League and Planet Fitness® are a perfect fit, combining our Judgement Free Zone® philosophy with the fun of helping provide a great day of baseball for those in our community,” Reid added.

In addition to assisting and cheering on the 80 Miracle League players, the Planet Fitness volunteers also passed out free PF® T-shirts and water bottles.

“We were so thrilled to have Planet Fitness joining us as buddies at the Miracle League,” said Jennifer Bell, executive director of ACCESS of Wilmington Inc., which operates Miracle Field. “Planet Fitness shares our same mission of promoting health for all, and we are grateful that their employees are dedicating time to encouraging our athletes. Volunteers are crucial to The Miracle League of Wilmington, and this community has definitely shown our families that Wilmington cares.”

Pablo Laredo, general manager of the Monkey Junction Planet Fitness location, discovered the rewards of volunteering are exponential.

“I headed into the day just hoping I could make an impact on at least one kid, but when walking around with Homer, I could see that our presence was putting smiles on the faces of the entire group,” Laredo said.

“Our goal is to continue to pursue our relationship with the Miracle League and its positive impact on disabled individuals and their families,” Wolfe added.

Anchor Management Group provided the volunteering club with $200 to use toward a group outing.

Asbell Planet Services Helps Convert Teen Center into Workout Space at Local BGC

On March 8, Asbell Planet Services, LLC employees from the company’s Lynchburg, Virginia, location gave back to their community by transforming a teen center at a local Boys & Girls Club into a new workout space.

Employees spent one day painting the room and returned the following week to install the workout equipment, which included a treadmill, elliptical and a stationary bike.

“I’m so glad that we could help with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg with its renovation efforts to create a gym space that will welcome kids in the area to make the most of the clubhouse and burn some of that youthful energy to stay healthy, alert and ready to learn,” said franchisee Bill Asbell. “We love helping local youth, and we know that they’ll make the most of the equipment we donated and enjoy the new look of the gym section of the clubhouse. We look forward to more opportunities to volunteer and contribute to the great, vital work that Boys & Girls Clubs provide.”

Regional Manager Lindsay Woods noted that the company ran across a similar story in a previous issue of the Geared Up magazine and decided to donate the equipment once it was time for the club to re-equip. Woods also said that, in addition to serving the Boys & Girls Clubs, participating in activities like these gives employees a sense of purpose within their city that comes from giving back to the community and the kids.

Employees that assisted with the remodel include Lindsay Woods, Brian Winch, Elijah Tozar, Amanda Ranson, Katie Reeves, Miranda Dessalet and Nicholle Palicas.