Health clubs have always been in the business of serving others, so it comes as no surprise that in light of the events that have taken place in Houston, the fitness industry has joined forces to support and lend a helping hand to individuals and fellow clubs affected by Hurricane Harvey. If you are looking to make a donation to support the relief efforts in Houston, please visit the American Red Cross, One America Appeal, or one of the industry-related funds mentioned below.
How Health Clubs Are Helping Communities Affected by Hurricane Harvey
Across the fitness industry, gyms and organizations have joined forces to support and lend a helping hand to individuals and fellow clubs affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Photo: iGo Figure Membership Management Software
How You Can Help Affected Health Clubs
Here are some of funds that you can donate to to support health clubs and their employees who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.
- Texas Health Clubs Hurricane Relief: Industry consultant Brent Darden set up a Texas Health Clubs Hurricane Relief gofundme page to help affected clubs get back on track.
- ClubCorp’s Employee Partners Care Foundation: All of ClubCorp’s Houston area clubs were closed after the hurricane and many employees were affected. Donations to the company’s Employee Partners Care Foundation will provide immediate assistance to those employees.
- The Houstonian Club’s Employee Assistance Fund: More than 30 Houstonian employees suffered flooded homes and cars, so the club set up an employee assistance fund to help those in need.
- 24 Hour Fitness’ Helping Hands Foundation: 24 Hour Fitness sponsors the Helping Hands Foundation, which supports its team members in need. The company is matching the next $100,000 of employee donations to that fund to ensure that the cash is available to meet the needs of those affected by the hurricane.
- The American Red Cross: Clubs including LA Fitness and Active Wellness are driving members and employees to donate to the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Harvey relief fund.
And here are just some of the ways IHRSA members are getting involved:
Hosting Charitable Events and Fundraisers to Benefit Houston
ClubCorp locations across the country are working to provide opportunities to raise money for Houston through golf tournaments and other charitable programs, with the proceeds benefiting those in need. Thanks to the contributions made by members, employee partners, and community members, ClubCorp’s Employee Partners Care Foundation (E.P.C.F.) is providing immediate assistance to affected employee partners. The club is also encouraging interested parties to make a direct donation to the Employee Partners Care Foundation.
Fit Athletic Clubs also ran a similar exercise-related fundraiser. The club sold “Labor for Love” shirts for $20 at its event and matched every donation made by individuals who participated in the fitness class.
This weekend, Corpus Christi Athletic Club will host a fitness fundraiser to benefit Hurricane Harvey victims. As part of the fundraiser, the club is allowing members to push their trainers to the max by asking them to complete as many squat and push-up repetitions as they can in a minute’s time. Each exercise is given a monetary value and the number of repetitions at that monetary value will determine how much money is donated. In addition, trainers and employees can also choose to hold a plank for as long as possible, and for each minute that a plank is held, $1 will be donated to relief efforts. Through September 10, Corpus Christi Athletic Club will also be accepting donations such as bottled water, nonperishable food, and diapers, to provide to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Volunteering to Help Clean Up the City
Fortunately, the iGo Figure team was not affected by the two to four feet of rain that fell on Houston and the surrounding area during the storm. However, they were more than willing to lend a hand. Almost the entire team helped neighbors recover, volunteered at local shelters, or provided shelter for friends who were less fortunate.
Matching Employee Donations
For several years, 24 Hour Fitness has sponsored the Helping Hands Foundation to support team members in need. In the aftermath of the hurricane, 24 Hour is matching the next $100,000 of employee donations to that fund to ensure cash is available to assist team members that have suffered significant losses.
Creating a Relief Fund to Generate Charitable Donations
The Houstonian was one of many clubs in and around Houston directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In fact, 32 Houstonian employees were displaced from their homes due to severe flooding. To help these employees, the club is diligently working to establish a Houstonian Employee Assistance Fund that will be administered through the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Once this fund is established, individuals will be able to make tax-deductible donations via check or credit card, and then these donations will be distributed to employees through an application process.
Directing Members to Support and Donate to a Larger Relief Fund
Businesses such as LA Fitness and Active Wellness are asking their supporters to make a direct donation to the American Red Cross.
Supporting Fellow Health Club Businesses that Were Impacted
IHRSA and our member clubs are part of one large industry family. The following is a list of businesses that have notified us about club damages and member displacement brought on by the natural disaster. Each business is evaluating where it is in the process of rebuilding and is diligently working to return to normal operational hours:
- 24 Hour Fitness
- Avenu Fitness
- BP Fitness
- Gold’s Gym - Houston
- Memorial Athletic Club
- River Oaks Country Club
- The Houstonian
- Villasport Cypress & The Woodlands
If we have not yet heard from you, when time allows, please let us know how you are doing and how, if at all, you, your employees, your members and/or your business have been affected.
Shannon Vogler is the Communications and Public Relations Coordinator for IHRSA. Shannon writes articles, press releases, and the IHRSA Advocate newsletter to make IHRSA members aware of policy issues that impact health clubs. She also speaks with media influencers about the benefits of working out and joining a gym. When she's not writing, Shannon enjoys running and cheering for the New England Patriots.