HASTINGS, Minn. - Aug. 5, 2015 // PRNewswire // - Tee It Up for the Troops, a national non-profit organization, has selected the first recipients of a grant designed to help military veterans open their own gyms and provide additional employment opportunities for fellow veterans.
Hannah and Tristan Ambrozewski, both of whom served in Iraq, will use a $125,000 grant and an additional $125,000 loan as start-up capital to open an Anytime Fitness gym near Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC. The Ambrozewskis, who signed a franchise agreement at the Anytime Fitness corporate headquarters in Hastings, MN this morning (August 5th), hope to open their gym in early 2016.
"We're incredibly excited to help veterans and non-veterans alike in our community learn how to lead healthier lifestyles," said Hannah Ambrozewski, who served as an intelligence analyst with the U.S. Army from 2005 to 2012.
"We also love the idea of being able to provide jobs to other military veterans," said Tristan Ambrozewski, who likewise served as an intelligence analyst in the Army, and now performs similar duties as a Department of Defense (DOD) contractor.
Anytime Fitness' Heartfirst Charitable Foundation provided a grant to Tee It Up for the Troops, which then selected the Ambrozewskis as recipients from a pool of dozens of outstanding candidates.
"Operation Heartfirst™ is our way of saying thank you to all of the fine service men and women who've made tremendous sacrifices for our country," said Dave Mortensen, President of Anytime Fitness, LLC. "We couldn't be happier with the selection of the Ambrozewskis as the first recipients. They each have a long history of advocating physical fitness and serving not only their countries, but others in their community as well."
"We were looking for candidates with distinguished records of military service, who are eager to help others lead healthier lifestyles and who continue to serve and support the U.S. military and its veterans," said Tim Wegscheid, President of Tee It Up for the Troops. "We also looked for candidates with a passion for fitness and community engagement. The Ambrozewskis fit that description exactly."
Anytime Fitness, LLC has agreed to waive its initial franchise fee and ongoing royalty payments related to this opportunity.
"The unemployment rate for military veterans is significantly higher than the national average," said Chuck Runyon, CEO of Anytime Fitness, LLC. "That's just not right. Our hope is that Operation Heartfirst™ will not only help veterans operate their own businesses, but also provide jobs for other vets as club managers and personal trainers – for many years to come."
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Ranked #1 on Entrepreneur magazine's prestigious "Top Global Franchise" list, Anytime Fitness is the fastest-growing gym franchise in the world, with nearly 3,000 gyms serving more than 2,600,000 members on five continents. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing its members with convenient fitness options and friendly, personal service in well-maintained facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment. Gyms are now open in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, Grand Cayman, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Qatar, India, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Belgium and the Philippines. All franchised gyms are individually owned and operated. Join one gym and use them all.
Tee It Up for the Troops, Inc, is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves U.S. military veterans and their families. Based in Minnesota, Tee it Up for the Troops inspires communities across the country to organize golf events to raise funds for partnering veterans service organizations who deliver critically needed services to military families. These locally-supported events greatly assist returning service members to successfully reintegrate into their communities. Established in 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted over 300 events in more than 30 states and has donated over $5 million to more than 200 various organizations serving veterans across the country. In addition, through their REUNION initiative, Tee It Up for the Troops has reunited more than 125 combat altered veterans who were separated due to battlefield injuries or changes in rehabilitation status. Through these reunions, participating veterans enhance their transition process into productive and fulfilling civilian lifestyles.
SOURCE Anytime Fitness