“Everyone knows someone” is St. Vincent's Medical Center Swim Across the Sound motto and aptly applies to the Fitness Edge fitness center as well. All six locations of Fitness Edge in southern Connecticut have pledged to raise a total of $100,000 through fund-raising events that started in June to benefit the “swim” on Aug. 10, an event that raises funds to help cancer patients.

St. Vincent's Medical Center's swim event has been turning the tide locally against cancer for the past 15 years. Its mission is to help cancer patients throughout southern Connecticut.

This is the first year that Fitness Edge has partnered with St. Vincent's to raise money for the swim. According to Deborah Keyes, director of marketing, Fitness Edge chose to partner with this event because it is an outstanding local charity in Fairfield County and an ideal way to reach out to the community. It is also important that the money raised for the swim stays in the community that supports them.

St. Vincent's is helping promote the club's fund-raising activities too, says Keyes. The medical center has promoted the club several times on the local radio station and the local cable channel. St. Vincent's also sends out a quarterly newsletter, and a mobile mammogram van peruses the community, which features the club's logo on the back. A Fitness Edge club newsletter is also circulated to its 17,000 members to promote the various special events.

Each month, starting in June and running through the end of the year, Fitness Edge will sponsor several events at its six locations to help support the swim's fund-raising efforts. All proceeds will go to the St. Vincent swim fund.

On June 22, at the club's East Norwalk location, a Fit Kidz Festival featured games, classes, music, a moonwalk, pony rides, magic shows, food and drink.

The club also sponsored several events in July. Paper fish for “Fish for the Swim” were sold and displayed at each Fitness Edge location. “The outpouring of people supporting the events is overwhelming,” says Keyes. The club is also selling T-shirts, as well as donating $10 for every membership sold at its clubs from June until January.

The Women's Fitness Edge club partnered with Dream Spa and sponsored “A Night for Your Soul,” which was a great success says Keyes. Club members brought their friends and the general public was also welcome to come and enjoy the event, which featured massages, hair consultations, makeovers, as well as yoga, music, desserts and wine.

Events to take place throughout the end of the year include a “Spin Under the Stars” on Aug. 3, get in shape with Scott Cole Master Class in October and Yoga on the beach. In November and December, all six locations of the Fitness Edge will offer chances to win a one-year membership for everyone in a household 16 years or older.

Fitness Edge's marketing team has been instrumental in developing ideas and promoting the swim's fund-raising events. They go to local companies to solicit for donations. Pepsi donated soft drinks to the kids' festival and Fisher Price donated kids' fishing poles for Fish for the Swim. It's all about building relationships, says Keyes.

More than $20,000 has been raised since June. Fitness Edge believes in helping its community. “Every club should do it,” says Keyes. “It's a way of differentiating yourself and it's about being in business other than just for making a profit.”