In support of Augie's Quest, LA Fitness announced today that it will host an in-club Group Fitness class at more than 500 of the company's locations on February 22, 2014. Augie's Quest is a nonprofit research initiative dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). LA Fitness has donated to Augie's Quest for several years, and this year's fundraiser marks the fourth in-club event the company has held in support of this worthy cause.
LA Fitness will donate 100% of the proceeds from the event to the Muscular Dystrophy Association's ALS research initiative. ALS is a progressive motor neuron disease that causes complete paralysis. Approximately 5,600 people are diagnosed with ALS each year, affecting as many as 30,000 Americans at any given time. Survival is typically three to five years after diagnosis, and no cure currently exists for the disease.
In March 2005, Augie Nieto, a prominent leader in the fitness industry, was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Despite the limitations of the disease, Augie continues to lead an active life and is an activist for others fighting the disease. After his diagnosis, Augie coped with his illness by drawing strength from his family, friends and a flood of letters and emails from supporters. Realizing that he could use his voice to raise awareness for others, Augie teamed up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and created "Augie's Quest." With the sole purpose of finding a cure for ALS, the team he assembled to fight the disease and find a cure holds to one mission: identify the genetic basis of the disease in order to seek a treatment.
"We are pleased to participate and provide access to both members and non-members for this event. They get to experience a great class, in a great club and contribute to a great cause. Truly a win, win all the way around," said Bill Horner, Senior Vice President/Chief Real Estate Officer at LA Fitness.
"I hope that this campaign increases awareness for ALS and encourages people to get active for those of us that can no longer work out. We are grateful for our partnership with LA Fitness and the generosity of your members will help us get closer to a cure," said Augie Nieto, co-chair of MDA's ALS Division and chairman of Octane Fitness®.