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Wednesday
Feb192014

IHRSA to recognize three with awards

Radka Dopitova Wilson is presented with the Julie Main Woman Leader Scholarship by Bill McBride last year.One of the great parts of the IHRSA Annual International Convention & Trade Show is having the award winners’ colleagues and peers witness first-hand their accomplishments.

IHRSA ensures that the maximum number of attendees get to see the amazing efforts, triumphs and good deeds by bringing the honorees on stage prior to the general sessions speakers, which always has a packed room.

In three weeks in San Diego it will be the same when the health and fitness world is together to see this year’s winners: ABC Financial, the Associate Member of the Year; Patsy McLean, Julie Main Woman Leader Scholarship; and Gold’s Gym Dutchess County, Outstanding Community Service Award.

"On behalf of IHRSA and the entire industry, I commend each of these three outstanding IHRSA members for their exceptional commitment and service to their communities, their customers and of course, to the betterment of the health and fitness industry," said Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO.

Outstanding Community Service

With a staff of 300 in the two locations, Gold’s Gym of Dutchess County, in New York state, will usually have someone who is affected by a cause that will benefit from a fundraiser. That is why owner Kim Austin Kenyon will ask her staff when a group approaches her about getting involved.

And it shows by the number of events Gold’s Gym Dutchess County has its name attached to. That is one of the reasons it will be honored with the Outstanding Community Service Award, which is presented to an IHRSA member that has made a longstanding commitment to making a difference in, and beyond, their community.

                                   

“We’re extremely honored with this award,” said Kenyon, who has sites in LaGrange and Fishkill. “We work really hard to brand ourselves as a community facility. We are honored because we think we work real hard to do that and it is nice that someone recognizes it.”

Three of the efforts Kenyon is particularly proud of are Better You, Pitch for Kids, and the Dutchess County Classic. Better You is an American Heart Association program that Gold’s gives 14, three-month memberships (with 12 personal training sessions and unlimited group training) to 14 local women. The clubs are a major sponsor for Pitch for Kids, a program by the Hudson Valley Renegades, a minor league baseball team. Pitch for Kids raises money for grants that  are awarded to youth programs. The club is a major sponsor and is actively involved in the Dutchess Country Classic, which is a marathon, half marathon, 5K and kids fun run.

“We really want to give back to the community,” Kenyon added. “We felt like these are a couple of different niches where we could really make a difference. 

Kenyon has been in fitness since 1992, although she has been around it for much of her life as she the second generation in her family in the industry. Her clubs opened in 2004 and 2005 and her family has been IHRSA members since 1978.

She will be on stage to accept the award on Friday, March 15.

Julie Main Woman Leader Scholarship

We all know there are countless benefits of exercise. Many of them help prevent sickness and health issues. And, some help after you are diagnosed.

Cancer is one that actually works both sides – before and after. This year’s Julie Main Woman Leader Scholarship winner, Patsy McLean, knows this – she was active before being diagnosed, and after surviving Melanoma, and she has used exercise and nutrition to get back. 

To help others like her realize the importance of exercise, McLean started the Cancer Specific Exercise Program at Adelaide Club in Canada, where she is the director of Group Exercise. The program educates cancer patients on the benefits of exercise with both strength training and cardio intervals. They are assessed before and monitored throughout to make sure they are doing the appropriate exercises for their type of cancer, level of cancer, and how they feel.

“Exercising is so beneficial in all phases of cancer - before, during and after,” said McLean, who transitioned from finance eight years ago to pursue her passion in fitness. “The body needs an outlet for toxins and what better way than exercise.” 

McLean is also writing a book, “The Gift of Cancer, My Greatest Teacher,” which covers he experiences through cancer. She hopes the book, due out in October 2014, will help others avoid certain paths she went through.

McLean has learned a lot about Main, even before named the scholarship winner this year. She said she is honored to be mentioned in the same breath.

“It’s such an incredible honor to receive this award.,” McLean said. “Julie was such an accomplished woman and an inspiration to so many people. She was incredibly ambitious, warm, passionate and didn’t give up!  The stories I’ve read suggest she looked at life’s challenges as a way to learn, grow and share that knowledge with others. … To be the recipient of an award honoring Julie Main is indeed a highlight in my career.”

The award will be presented on Thursday, March 13.

Associate Member of the Year

The Associate Member of the Year Award is presented annually to recognize an IHRSA Member for their significant contributions to the advancement of the health club industry, as well as their support of IHRSA, its members and its mission through program and event participation, advertising and sponsorship.

ABC Financial, an IHRSA member since 1986, was selected as this year's honoree due to its decades of outstanding achievements, innovations and support of the health and fitness industry, its continued investment in leading-edge technology, marketing programs and software solutions, and its unwavering support of IHRSA and its members.

ABC Financial will be the first award recipient recognized at IHRSA 2014, on Wednesday, March 12.

The IHRSA Awards Program seeks to "recognize, celebrate, and inspire." For more information about IHRSA's annual industry awards, including prior recipients, please visit ihrsa.org/awards.

For more on IHRSA 2014, visit ihrsa.org/convention. And, be sure to download the free IHRSA App and follow on Twitter at #IHRSA2014.

 

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