SAN RAMON, Calif., and WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 6, 2008) – 24 Hour Fitness, the largest privately-owned U.S. fitness chain and a health club industry pioneer, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing play back into the lives of children, are teaming up to build new playgrounds in Houston communities impacted by Hurricane Ike. The partnership will help children in the region get fit and stay healthy while aiding communities that are recovering from the storm.
Throughout the month of October, 24 Hour Fitness will donate $1 from the monthly dues of Houston area members to KaBOOM! to help build the playgrounds. 24 Hour Fitness team members will join members and community volunteers to build the first playground on December 13, with a second playground to be built in early 2009. Locations for both playgrounds will be announced at a later date. 24 Hour Fitness club members will also be invited to donate through an in-club fundraising campaign, with all proceeds going to KaBOOM!.
"24 Hour Fitness is part of the Houston community and we want to ensure that kids in these neighborhoods have a place where they can just be kids again," said 24 Hour Fitness CEO Carl Liebert. "Physical fitness and staying active can help change a person’s life and we hope that bringing these playgrounds back to the region will help families recover from this disaster."
"KaBOOM! knows that disasters such as Hurricane Ike affect everyone, especially kids, who depend on peaceful, familiar routines to keep them feeling safe and secure," said Darell Hammond, CEO and co-founder of KaBOOM!. "As we’ve seen with the playgrounds we’ve built in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, playgrounds give kids a great way to stay mentally and physically healthy when the rest of the world around them is chaotic."
KaBOOM! is also calling on Houston-area residents and organizations to document playgrounds damaged by the storm on the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder, at http://playspacefinder.kaboom.org. As the damaged playgrounds are added to the online database, KaBOOM! will work to recruit supporters in the region to help clean-up and repair those playspaces that need attention.
About 24 Hour Fitness
Headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., 24 Hour Fitness, an innovative leader in the health and fitness industry, serves more than 3 million members in more than 425 clubs worldwide. Founded in 1983 as a one-club operation, 24 Hour Fitness pioneered the concept of making fitness accessible, affordable and a way of life for everyone. 24 Hour Fitness has partnered with superstar athletes and celebrities like Magic Johnson, Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, Shaquille O’Neal, Jackie Chan, Yao Ming and Derek Jeter to open co-branded clubs around the world. The company demonstrates its leadership through sponsorships like that of the U.S. Olympic Team and a commitment to the community through various charitable and in-kind donations. In addition, 24 Hour Fitness enjoys strategic partnerships with major consumer brands like Coca-Cola and Nike, and for six seasons has partnered with NBC’s popular reality TV show, The Biggest Loser. Please call 1-800-224-0240 or visit www.24HourFitness.com for more information and to find the location nearest you.
KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,500 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, regional and national trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and the Playmaker Network – a national network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Ill. and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.