Anytime Fitness partners with Tee It Up for the Troops to assist veterans.

Anytime Fitness partners with Tee It Up for the Troops to assist veterans.

Operation Heartfirst™ will help military vets own and operate their own franchised gyms.

Anytime Fitness is partnering with Tee It Up for the Troops, a national non-profit organization, in a first-of-its-kind effort to help military veterans open their own gyms and provide additional employment opportunities for fellow veterans. Dubbed “Operation Heartfirst™,” 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.”

APPLICATIONS

Tee It Up for the Troops is no longer accepting applications.

The review of current applicants is now underway. The winning applicant will be announced in June.

“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 first opportunity involves an Anytime Fitness gym to be located in Fayetteville, NC, near Fort Bragg. 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 club managers and personal trainers – for many years to come.”

The first Operation Heartfirst recipient will be selected by June 1st with a club opening date expected by the end of 2015.

OTHER RECENT ANYTIME FITNESS NEWS: http://anytimefitness.com/press

About Anytime Fitness

Ranked #2 on Entrepreneur’s prestigious Franchise 500® list, Anytime Fitness is the fastest-growing gym franchise in the world, with nearly 3,000 gyms serving more than 2,000,000 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, Grand Cayman, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Qatar, India, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines.  All franchised gyms are individually owned and operated. Join one gym and use them all. Members also enjoy free access to AnytimeHealth.com, the most comprehensive wellness website available.

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 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.

Media Contacts:

Mark Daly, National Media Director for Anytime Fitness: mark.daly@anytimefitness.com

Tim Wegscheid, President of Tee It Up for the Troops: tim@teeitupforthetroops.org

Pinnacle Peak Country Club Hosts 5th Annual Tee It Up for the Troops Event

Pinnacle Peak Country Club hosted the 5th Annual Tee It Up for the Troops event on February 25th to pay tribute and to raise funds to support all present and past members of America’s armed forces and their families.  Our Members displayed unwavering support for Tee It Up for the Troops as golfers took to the links to raise money for those who have been wounded in battle and to show their appreciation for the troops. 

Pinnacle Peak Country Club 5th Annual Event FlyoverEach foursome was accompanied by a wounded warrior or active duty military service member.  Our golf event combined with an inspirational ceremony and gala dinner are steeped in tradition at Pinnacle Peak Country Club instilling a sense of pride, honor, respect and appreciation for those who have protected our liberties and the freedoms we all cherish.     

This year with your support we donated $73,541.93 to Tee It Up for the Troops.  This is an amazing feat!  The total amount that Pinnacle Peak Country Club has raised for Tee It Up for the Troops in five years is $256,168.45.   We are awed by the dedication of our Membership.   Our commitment to support those who protect us delivers a heartfelt sense of fulfillment.  Together we made a difference in their lives by standing together to help veterans transition, grow, thrive and live! 

Making a Difference to Veterans Kids at Camp Soaring Eagle

The following article provided by Camp Soaring Eagle in Cornville, Arizona is one of the many organizations Tee It Up for the Troops works with to help and support disabled veteran’s families. We recently made a donation and received this great article for the folks at Camp Soaring Eagle.

Kids Archery at Camp Soaring EagleWhen Aaron gripped the end of the arrow and drew back the bow no one could have suspected that it was his first time at an archery course. But for Aaron, who has autism, the Bull’s-Eye he shot propelled him beyond his disorder and amazed the counselors and his friends. Aaron and his parents were participating in the inaugural camping weekend for Arizona’s Veteran’s kids, November 7 -9th at Camp Soaring Eagle in Cornville that was sponsored in large part by Tee It Up For The Troops.

The Bull’s Eye was just one of many “firsts” for Aaron that weekend. He caught his first fish and volunteered to sing Wings of an Eagle on stage during the talent show. His father, an airman stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Glendale, AZ said, “This has been a great experience for my son. Heck, I didn’t even know he liked fishing! We are so grateful to those who made this camping experience possible for our son and for all the other military dependent children here this weekend. There are no other resources like this available that I know of for military kids.”

flag raising at campThanks to the financial contribution from Tee It Up for the Troops, twenty-six children whose parents serve in the Army, Air Force, and the National Guard/ Reserve came together for a fun-filled weekend with other kids facing the same issues unique to military dependent children. During the camping weekend, these kids found solace in the realization that they weren’t alone in their struggles and that there are other kids who understand what they are going through.

Recent studies by Child Trends, a nonprofit research center, found that while children are resilient having a parent go to war can take a steep and potentially long-lasting toll during their critical early years when the brain is growing rapidly and children are developing a sense of trust in the world. Children who have a soldier parent often endure multiple deployments, extended separations and often tense and awkward reunions when that parent returns to the home. This creates much of the same anxiety, depression, aggression and withdrawal that adults experience, particularly when a parent has been physically or mentally traumatized.

A first-of-its-kind nationwide assessment, Study on Children of Seriously Wounded Service Members, reveals that while over 400 organizations exist to provide support and resources to seriously wounded service members and their families, the research reveals current offerings are limited and almost nonexistent in directly supporting children.

Camp Soaring Eagle’s founder Max James served honorably as an Air Force rescue helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. It was his desire to create a FREE camp for children in Arizona who have serious illnesses. Max soon recognized that children of military families often suffer pain and wounds, although invisible, that are very much as serious as physical illness. For that reason he added a camping weekend to the year-round schedule dedicated to serving the children of Arizona’s service members.

kids at camp“We are honored”, Max James said, “to be supported by the Tee It Up For The Troops organization that helped fund this important camping weekend for the kids of military personnel stationed in Arizona. This inaugural weekend saw healthy veteran’s kids as well as dependent children who suffer from AIDS, asthma, autism, and blood disorders.” Max James emotionally added, “Our military families sacrifice so much for the good of our country, whether it’s the deployed troops, the spouses who hold down the fort at home or the innocent children simply trying to cope with an absent parent. The generosity of Tee It Up For The Troops is essential for us to continue to offer this kind of camping experience and we are eternally grateful to them.” For more information and ways that you can help Camp Soaring Eagle continue their mission, go to www.campsoaringeagle.org.

AJGA donates PING patriotic golf bags

Chris Dernick is passionate about maintaining the traditions of golf, this explains her commitment to the AJGA and the CB&I Boys Championship at Carlton Woods. Through the tournament, Dernick is also able to help out another group of people she loves, the Troops.

“One of the biggest things I have grown to appreciate is the opportunity we have to give back to the Troops. It is about the opportunity to show our appreciation for the sacrifices that they make,” Dernick said through tears. “I think it’s really important for us to provide those opportunities to our youth to realize the sacrifices people are making for them.”

We are grateful that Dernick has chosen to fulfill that passion for the Troops by working with PING and the AJGA to donate the golf bags used at the event to Tee it up for the Troops!

EZ-Go Cart Donation at 9th Annual Mendakota Event

Mendota Heights, MN – At the organization’s 9th annual fundraising event in Minnesota, Tee It Up For The Troops announced that they will donate a customized six-person E-Z-GO Golf Cart to each Fisher House that will be built and opened in the next three years.

Fisher Houses are beautiful homes, donated by the Fisher House Foundation to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs.  These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for a combat injury, illness or disease.

The customized and street-ready golf carts will allow patients to travel from the Veterans hospital where they are receiving treatment to their local Fisher House without getting in and out of a car or van.

In 2012, Tee it up for the Troops donated an E-Z-GO golf cart to the Fisher Houses in Minneapolis and Augusta, Georgia.  The organization also donated a golf cart to a medical unit in Afghanistan in 2010.

Fisher House is planning for up to five new homes to open each year through 2016.

fisherhouse“Fisher House continues to be blessed, not just because Tee It Up for the Troops is such a generous benefactor for many years but because they are such a terrific partner in taking care of our men and women in uniform and their families,” said Derek Donovan, Vice President for Programs at Fisher House Foundation.  “Although Fisher Houses are located right on the grounds of military hospitals and VA medical centers, our guests are often patients themselves and their mobility is limited.  The E-Z-GO golf carts just make life easier and are a daily reminder that organizations like Tee It Up for the Troops are there for our heroes and their families.”

“Fisher House has been a great partner of Tee It Up For The Troops for many years”, said Paul Anderson, President & CEO of Tee it up for the Troops.  “Their ability to help ease the burden of finding lodging and food in a time of need for an American Hero is priceless. With the family surrounding the warrior, the healing process, and recovery can begin in a setting of comfort. We are honored to be a small part of that recovery process and hope these golf carts will be a blessing to the veterans and their families.”

Gaby Accad, Owner of Versatile Vehicles in Savage, Minnesota, has been the E-Z-GO dealer responsible for assisting in the project.  A supporter of Tee it up for the Troops from the beginning, he continues to see the important value in this project.  “E-Z-GO and Versatile Vehicles are proud of the relationship with Tee It Up For The Troops and believe whole-heartedly in our ability to help customize a top-of-the-line street ready golf cart that will be used to ease the burden of transportation to-and-from the hospital for our Heroes,” said Gaby Accad.

Minstar Transport, of St. Paul, has graciously donated the costs of transporting of the cart which will be delivered to the new Tennessee Fisher House in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which will open later this fall.