In March 2008, the for-profit segment of the industry will come together once again at the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) show in San Diego to raise money for Augie's Quest, an organization founded by Augie Nieto. Nieto, founder of Life Fitness, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2005, and he has devoted much of his life since then to find a cure for the disease.
Last year, the fundraising event at the IHRSA show in San Francisco raised $2.1 million, down from the $2.5 million raised the year before, but still a considerable amount of money.
Kevin McHugh, COO at The Atlantic Club in Manasquan, NJ, recently contacted me about an initiative by his club company to help with this effort for 2008. The Atlantic Club, which raised more than $800,000 for breast cancer research, is now putting its fundraising prowess to work for ALS. The company is recruiting other clubs across the United States to conduct one event on one day to raise $3 million for ALS research.
The Atlantic Club is encouraging club owners and staff to increase their members' awareness about ALS by involving them in a special event between Jan.1 and March 7, 2008, which is the date of the Beach Bash for Augie's Quest at the IHRSA 2008 conference. Ideas for an event to hold at your club are on the www.clubsforthecure.com Web site.