Anytime Fitness® and Tee It Up for the Troops® are seeking applicants for a new gym near Ft. Rucker

Woodbury, Minn. – For the 3rd year in a row, Anytime Fitness is partnering with Tee It Up for the Troops in an effort to help military veterans open their own gyms and provide additional employment opportunities for fellow veterans.  Via the “Operation HeartFirst” initiative, Tee It Up for the Troops will offer a $125,000 grant and a $125,000 loan to a select number of honorably discharged veterans for the purpose of assisting with initial start-up capital to be used for the development of an Anytime Fitness franchise.  Anytime Fitness’ HeartFirst Charitable Foundation™ will provide a grant to Tee It Up for the Troops, which will then offer this opportunity to approved veterans, National Guard members, or reservists, as well as oversee the selection process and management of logistics.

“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. “Currently, about 10% of our franchisees are military veterans.  We’d like to see that number grow even higher.  Veterans are some of our best and most successful club operators.”  


Tee It Up for the Troops is currently accepting online applications via  Among other key criteria, interested veterans must have “a passion for fitness and community engagement.”  The application deadline is May 1st, 2017.

“We are looking for candidates 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.  “This particular opportunity involves an Anytime Fitness gym to be located in the Dothan, AL area, near Fort Rucker.  The selected franchisee will determine the precise location of the gym.”

Anytime Fitness, LLC has also agreed to waive its initial franchise fee and ongoing royalty payments related to this opportunity.  Consideration will be given by the selection committee to veterans with service-related disabilities.

“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 gym managers and personal trainers – for many years to come.”

The first Operation HeartFirst recipients opened their Anytime Fitness gym near Fort Bragg in Southern Pines, NC in the spring of 2016.  Another Operation HeartFirst gym will open within the next few weeks near Fort Benning in Opelika, AL.  The recipients of the next Operation HeartFirst grant will be selected by June 15th with an anticipated club opening date of early 2018.



About Anytime Fitness

Ranked #1 on Entrepreneur’s prestigious Top Global Franchise list, Anytime Fitness is the fastest-growing gym franchise in the world, with more than 3,500 gyms serving 3,000,000 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, Wales, Sweden, Italy, 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.

About Tee It Up for the Troops

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 also greatly assist returning service members to successfully reintegrate into their communities.  Established in 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted over 325 events in more than 30 states and has donated over $6 million to more than 300 various organizations serving veterans across the country.  In addition, through their REUNION initiative, Tee It Up for the Troops has reunited nearly 200 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.

Media Contacts:

Mark Daly, National Media Director for Anytime Fitness:

Tim Wegscheid, President of Tee It Up for the Troops: