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.”  

APPLICATION PROCESS

Tee It Up for the Troops is currently accepting online applications via http://www.teeitupforthetroops.org/anytime-fitness-veteran-franchise-opportunity/.  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.

OPERATION HEARTFIRST VIDEO:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf3VNN2wTyk

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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:  mark.daly@sebrands.com

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

Donation made to support Veterans Resource Center at St. Cloud State University

To honor the mission of Tee It Up for the Troops, an all volunteer organizing committee teamed up with staff from the St Cloud Country Club to host their 3rd annual Tee It Up for the Troops golf benefit in August of 2016!

This event began with an inspirational opening ceremony that pays tribute to our nation, the men and women of our military, and our cherished freedoms. Following the opening ceremony golfers tee’d off for a 18-hole scramble tournament. Following the tournament, golfers and non-golfers enjoyed a cocktail reception and evening dinner program.

It is standard practice to donate 50% of Tee It Up for the Troops event proceeds to local veteran support organizations. In keeping with that tradition, this week several individuals gathered together to present a check in the amount of $14,200 to the SCSU Student Veterans Organization.

The Veterans Resource Center at St. Cloud State University provides a welcoming environment for veterans, current service members and their families. The center provides a one-stop shop for information and resources pertaining to military benefits, including referrals to outside veteran agencies, and provides an ideal space for networking and connecting with other military affiliated students on campus.

You can read more about how this specific donation with benefit the Veterans Resource Center here.

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The individuals in the photo below, from left to right, are as follows: Tom Olson, General Manager of the St. Cloud Country Club; Rollie Carlson, TIUFTT Minnesota Chapter Board Member; Interim President of SCSU, Ashish Vaidya; Vice President of University Advancement, Matt Andrew; and Vice President of Student Life and Development, Wanda Overland.

“I believe my song gives them a better understanding of what I went through when I was deployed.”

On behalf of all of those who “stepped up to the tee” at our 2016 events, we were able to donate over $1,000,000 to veteran support organizations, including a $20,000 donation to CreatiVets! We are proud to support organizations like Creativets who are making a difference in the lives of our American heroes!

Jeremy Durbin, Executive Director of Creativets, said “Your donation has allowed us to provide songwriting sessions and art programming for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Through these experiences, participants have learned the benefits of using art and music as a form of stress and anxiety relief. They have also created incredible songs and artwork that have enabled them to tell their stories in a way that creates something beautiful from something tragic.”

“Even though my friends and family do not understand what it was like in Iraq, I believe my song gives them a better understanding of what I went through while deployed.” – Veteran Participant, Songwriting Program 

CreatiVets’ mission is to provide disabled veterans with the opportunity to use art, music and creative writing to address the psychological and emotional needs that arise from service-related trauma.  Our goal is to empower veterans with tools they can use for the rest of their lives to combat stress, depression and other side effects of war.

“It’s hard to express in words how I felt after that experience, but I know I let go of something deep and feel that this experience is going to allow me to maintain that positive attitude while giving me the courage to live a meaningful life with my children. ” – Veteran Participant, Art Program

Signature Control Systems and Tee It Up for the Troops Partner to Support America’s Veterans

December 7, 2016 (Irvine, Calif.) — Signature Control Systems, Inc., a global leader in Internet-based irrigation control, and Tee It Up for the Troops, a national veterans service non-profit, announced today a national partnership to support the care of our nation’s veterans and military families.

The partnership will provide significant proceeds from Signature’s golf and turf product sales to Tee It Up for the Troops to help local and national veterans service organizations.

“Our organization is grateful for Signature’s support and partnership,” said Tim Wegscheid, President of Tee It Up for the Troops. “Golf is fundamental to our mission and serves as critical therapy for so many of our nation’s combat veterans. Signature’s leadership in irrigating and protecting golf courses makes this a truly synergistic partnership.”signature-control-partner-tiuftt

Minnesota-based Tee It Up for the Troops hosts approximately 40 golf events across the United States each year to raise funds for combat altered veterans and their families. It provides over $1 million in direct funding annually to various veterans service providers, including: Fisher House Foundation, Hope for the Warriors, and Warfighter Sports (a division of Disabled Sports USA), among others.

Signature Control Systems is a natural partner for Tee It Up for the Troops. The company has been a leader in golf course turf irrigation control and supplies for nearly 20 years. Its equipment can be found on hundreds of golf courses around the globe.

“Our military service members protect our homeland with honor and sacrifice,” said Brian J. Smith, CEO and Founder of Signature. “Signature has a duty to support those who are injured or lose their lives during their service. Supporting the mission and services provided by Tee It Up for the Troops and their partner organizations will help us fulfill this duty.”

The partnership began to form when Smith encountered Tee It Up for the Troops and its local service partners at a Southern California tournament hosted by the organization.

“I was profoundly impacted by their mission,” Smith continued. “It was humbling to witness the positive effect this organization and its partners are having on our disabled veterans – men and women who have given beyond what we can imagine. Tim and I immediately began discussions on how we could form a partnership.  It’s been terrific.”

The partnership was formalized in late November 2016. Signature will serve as Tee It Up for the Troops’ exclusive irrigation partner and joins an impressive list of leading golf and corporate partners, including Bridgestone Golf, PING, Textron, Inc/EZ GO, and Anytime Fitness.

 About Signature Control Systems:signature-control-systems

Signature is an advanced technology company and the industry leader in On-line Intelligent Irrigation Control.  Signature introduced the industry’s first Web-Based Intelligent Irrigation products in 1999, and their patented Share™ Irrigation Control Technology is currently saving millions of gallons of water annually for cities and homeowners across drought-stricken Southern California.  Along with their innovative Share™ Smart Controllers, Signature produces a comprehensive line of best-in-class irrigation products tailor-made for homeowners, landscape managers, municipal parks, property managers, and golf course superintendents.   With world headquarters located in Irvine, CA and manufacturing facilities in Peoria, IL, all Signature products are wholly designed and manufactured in the USA.  For more information, please visit us at: www.signaturecontrolsystems.com.

About Tee It Up for the Troops

Tee It Up for the Troops is a national non-profit organization that engages and inspires communities across the USA to organize golf events to honor and support the military men and women who have served and sacrificed so much for our freedoms.  Through these events, Tee It Up for the Troops has become a fundraising engine for local and national veterans service organizations who deliver critically needed services to our military families.

Since being established in 2005, Tee It Up for the Troops has hosted over 325 events in more than 30 states and has donated over $7 million to more than 300 various organizations serving veterans across the country.  Tee It Up for the Troops has also reunited nearly 250 combat altered veterans who were separated due to battlefield injuries, thus assisting with their transition back into their communities.

Donation to Salute Military Golf Association being put to good use

Thank you to the thousands of donors who have stepped up to the tee to make donations like this one possible. Together, we are making a difference!

A donation of just over $20,000 to the Salute Military Golf Association (SMAG) that was used to purchase a para-golfer has been getting a lot of use by veteran amputees who want to learn the game of golf. In the picture below a new participant, Aubrey Hand, United States Air Force, is receiving instruction from SMGA founder, Jim Estes.

Hand lost his leg below the knee as a result of an IED, 2012 in Afghanistan. While we love that Aubrey has been able to work on his golf game using the para-golfer, we were very excited to learn that his need for the paragolfer will be coming to an end soon as he will soon be golfing with his new prosthetic!

Thank you to the thousands of donors who have stepped up to the tee at Tee It Up for the Troops events across the nation. It is only with your support that donations like this one are made possible. Together, we are making a difference!smga-paragolfer-donation-2016-3

MN Vikings punter Jeff Locke supports the Longest Day of Golf for the Troops

Minnesota Vikings punter Jeff Locke joined 15 others and played a combined total of 190 hours of golf in the Longest Day of Golf for the Troops but the lasting memories won’t be a perfect shot or the numbers on the scorecards for the 1300-hole outing.

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It was a gorgeous day for the Longest Day of Golf for the Troops!

“The best part of the day for me was being able to switch groups and interact with the veterans,” Locke said. “It was so much fun playing with them and hearing their stories of what “Tee It Up for the Troops” has done for them coming back from overseas or from their service.”

A total of 16 golfers, veterans and veteran supporters, teed off just before 6:45 a.m. and raised more than $12,000 (and counting) for Tee It Up for the Troops!

Participants and volunteers were treated to a wonderful lunch on the go courtesy of participant, Marc Spiros and HoneyBaked Ham. The local HoneyBaked Ham stores in the Minneapolis / St Paul area wanted to give back to the communities by supporting and getting involved in the communities in which they work. We are delighted that they chose Tee it up for the Troops to honor those who have provided the freedom we all enjoy.

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This foursome combined for an amazing total of 430 holes!

Tee It Up for the Troops is a cause near and dear to many including Locke, whose father, Bob, was an Air Force pilot for 20-plus years. Jeff Locke was born at a military hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, and has other military ties in his family.

“Jeff (and so many others) understands the service and sacrifice that goes into the military lifestyle,” said Tim Wegscheid, the president of Tee It Up for the Troops. “He’s a great guy and has a big heart for serving our military families,” he added.

“He doesn’t do it for the fame,” SGT Ngo said. “He does it because he knows that if it wasn’t for the men and women that serve this country, we wouldn’t have the freedoms we have.”

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A team of veterans giving back with support from long-time supporter, D.A.S. Heating and Cooling.
Check out this video highlighting the day.

(Video produced by Eric Smith, MN Vikings Team Reporter.)

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Veteran Dan Sullivan chipped in for a birdie from 100 yards out!
It was a LONG day for some and an ENTERTAINING day for others!
It was a LONG day for some and an ENTERTAINING day for others!

Tee It Up for the Troops – Alta Vista proudly supports Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station

The Tee It Up for the Troops events at SeaCliff Country Club (Huntington Beach, CA), Vista Valley Country Club (Vista, CA) and Alta Vista Country Club (Placentia, CA) have joined forces to support the Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station located in San Diego, CA. The Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station assists four main groups of warriors: the seriously injured just returning home from war; those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury; those undergoing physical or occupational therapy, and warriors who have been medically retired and remain in our community. To serve this last group in particular, they pioneered a new approach and opened Freedom Station – a unique recovery transition center and housing facility that provides injured warriors with the acclimation time, guidance and resources to successfully make the transition from military service to civilian life.

In particular, the donation of $29,150 from the Alta Valley Country Club event was used to support Freedom Station and the Stand Tall: Modified Combat Boots for Warriors program. As mentioned above, Freedom Station is a unique recovery transition center and housing facility that provides injured warriors with the acclimation time, guidance and resources to successfully make the transition from military service to civilian life.

Freedom Station Courtyard
Freedom Station Courtyard

One of Warrior Foundation’s main program areas is quality-of-life items. They provide supplies to injured warriors that improve quality of life and provide added comfort during recovery. One of the most in-demand items they provide are modified combat boots with special zippers that can accommodate either prosthetic limbs or Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO™) braces. When warriors are recovering from battle injuries, nothing boosts morale like being able to stay in uniform. The uniform is deeply intertwined with the pride, privilege and soul of a warrior. It allows them to keep their military bearing.  For amputees, new prosthetic legs and feet do not fit properly into combat boots, forcing them to wear other shoes that do not conform.Freedom Station Combat Boots for Warriors

In what has become one of their most successful programs to date, Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station devised a way to modify combat boots to accommodate prosthetic limbs and IDEO braces. They custom-measure warriors, purchase boots, and then install zippers down the back of the boots so they can easily accommodate prostheses.  This allows warriors to maintain an integral part of their identities by staying in uniform.

Tee It Up for the Troops – Vista Valley proudly supports Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station

The Tee It Up for the Troops events at SeaCliff Country Club (Huntington Beach, CA), Vista Valley Country Club (Vista, CA) and Alta Vista Country Club (Placentia, CA) have joined forces to support the Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station located in San Diego, CA. The Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station assists four main groups of warriors: the seriously injured just returning home from war; those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury; those undergoing physical or occupational therapy, and warriors who have been medically retired and remain in our community. To serve this last group in particular, they pioneered a new approach and opened Freedom Station – a unique recovery transition center and housing facility that provides injured warriors with the acclimation time, guidance and resources to successfully make the transition from military service to civilian life.

In particular, the donation of $30,000 from the Vista Valley Country Club event was used to support Freedom Station and the Wheelchairs for Warriors program. As mentioned above, Freedom Station is a unique recovery transition center and housing facility that provides injured warriors with the acclimation time, guidance and resources to successfully make the transition from military service to civilian life.

Freedom Station Courtyard
Freedom Station Courtyard

The Wheelchairs for Warriors program is specifically designed to provide amputees with very lightweight, high quality wheelchairs that are custom-tailored for their specific body measurements. Amputees encounter significant challenges in daily living that most people cannot comprehend. Wheelchairs are the greatest mobility tool that amputees have, whether they are used at home, at work or for therapeutic or recreational activities. The standard-issue wheelchairs provided by the government are bulky, heavy and not easy to maneuver. The ultra light wheelchairs we purchase are custom-made specifically to provide the best fit, form and functionality for each individual warrior. Once a warrior is measured, the wheelchair is built to custom specifications. The “one size fits all” approach does not work for wheelchairs, and that’s why the ultra light wheelchairs are made to measure. Freedom station Ultralight Wheelchair

There is also the matter of transporting the wheelchair from place to place, in and out of vehicles. It is not an ideal or particularly safe situation to have amputees struggling to load and unload heavy wheelchairs. These ultra light wheelchairs are exponentially more lightweight, compact, easy to transport when compared to the government-issued wheelchairs. Combined with better handling and significantly more maneuverability, it is easy to see why ultra light wheelchairs significantly improve quality of life for our warriors.

Tee It Up for the Troops – SeaCliff proudly supports Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station

The Tee It Up for the Troops events at SeaCliff Country Club (Huntington Beach, CA), Vista Valley Country Club (Vista, CA) and Alta Vista Country Club (Placentia, CA) have joined forces to support the Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station located in San Diego, CA. The Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station assists four main groups of warriors: the seriously injured just returning home from war; those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury; those undergoing physical or occupational therapy, and warriors who have been medically retired and remain in our community. To serve this last group in particular, they pioneered a new approach and opened Freedom Station – a unique recovery transition center and housing facility that provides injured warriors with the acclimation time, guidance and resources to successfully make the transition from military service to civilian life.

In particular, the donation of $37,500 from the SeaCliff Country Club was used to support Freedom Station and the Wolfpack Wheelchair Basketball Team. As mentioned above, the Freedom Station is a unique recovery transition center and housing facility that provides injured warriors with the acclimation time, guidance and resources to successfully make the transition from military service to civilian life.

Freedom Station Courtyard
Freedom Station Courtyard

The San Diego Wolfpack is the only all-military wheelchair basketball team in the United States that is comprised of active duty service members and veterans who have sustained an amputation, spinal cord injury or other orthopedic or neurological disorder. Members from all service branches are included, and the team currently includes players from the Army, Marine Corps and Navy.  Freedom Station Wolf Pack Wheelchair BBall game

For our injured warriors, participating in the Wolfpack has helped to increase quality of life, promote healthy lifestyles and teamwork, and foster a sense of pride and accomplishment. The team truly has much to be proud of. In its second year, the Wolfpack went 27-3 and emerged from 83 teams to finish 2nd  in the national championships. Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station supports the Wolfpack by providing funds for equipment, practice facilities, and transportation, travel and lodging to regional and national games and championships across the country. Some of the required equipment includes uniforms, league regulation basketballs, ultra light wheelchairs and much more.

 

FIRST “OPERATION HEARTFIRST” GYM OFFICIALLY OPENS

Grand Opening ceremonies for, military veterans, Tristan and Hannah Ambrozewski’s Anytime Fitness gym in Southern Pines, NC – near Fort Bragg – took place on April 12th, 2016.

The very first beneficiaries of a partnership between Tee It Up for the Troops and Anytime Fitness’ Operation HeartFirst initiative are dedicated to helping other military veterans and their families get to a healthier place.

Asked what they would like to say to Operation HeartFirst contributors, Tristan replied, “Three things:  Thank you.  Thank you.  And thank you!”

The next Operation HeartFirst recipient(s) will be introduced at Anytime Fitness’ conference in Lake Placid in August of 2016. This opportunity is for the Columbus, GA area near Fort Benning. Click here for information about the 2nd Operation Heartfirst opportunity. Applications are due by May 1st!