TUCSON, Ariz., Feb. 21, 2013 — LA Fitness is set to shake things up for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the first national Zumba® event on Saturday, Feb. 23 to benefit MDA’s Augie’s Quest, an aggressive, cure-driven initiative singularly focused on finding treatments and cures for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease).
More than 500 LA Fitness locations nationwide will host a one-hour, in-club Zumba class that is open to members and non-members alike for a minimum $20 donation. LA Fitness will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to MDA's Augie's Quest to help speed research seeking treatments and cures for individuals living with the rapidly progressive neuromuscular disease.
"Partnering with LA Fitness each year to help fight this disease is essential to help raise awareness and meet our goals as an organization," said Augie Nieto, co-chair of MDA's ALS Division and chairman of Octane Fitness®. "Most of my life has revolved around the fitness industry, and working with a company like LA Fitness brings us that much closer to our goal.”
LA Fitness, one of the fastest growing health club chains in North America,has been aligned with the Augie's Quest initiative for several years in support of fitness industry pioneer Augie Nieto, who was diagnosed with ALS at age 47 in 2005.
"Working with Augie and his cause hits very close to home for us. He's always been a supporter and motivator of fitness, and his positive force is instrumental in carving out this niche in the fitness industry," said Bill Horner, senior vice president/chief real estate officer at LA Fitness. "This year, we are also very excited to work with Zumba Fitness and be able to bring together two partners that share our same values of encouraging fitness to improve your quality of life."
People interested in participating in the special Zumba event on Feb. 23 in their area can register in advance at augiesquest.org/lafitness.
ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) attacks the nerve cells that control muscles, ultimately resulting in paralysis of all voluntary muscles, including those used for breathing. Average life expectancy for people with the disease is three to five years after diagnosis.
About MDA and Augie's Quest
Fitness pioneer Augie Nieto started Augie's Quest in conjunction with MDA's ALS Division. Nieto is co-founder and former president of Life Fitness of Chicago, and chairman of Octane Fitness. He and his wife, Lynne, serve as co-chairs of MDA's ALS Division. Nieto received a diagnosis of ALS in March 2005, and Augie’s Quest has raised more than $35 million for ALS research since 2006.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for ALS and related muscle diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.
Over the years, MDA has led the fight against ALS, investing more than $307 million in its ALS research, services and information programs. MDA currently funds more than 250 research projects worldwide. It also operates 200 clinics across the county, 42 of which are designated as ALS-specific research and care centers.
The Association’s unparalleled research, health care services, advocacy and education programs provide help and hope to more than 1 million Americans affected by ALS and the more than 40 other progressive neuromuscular diseases in MDA’s program. MDA also facilitates hundreds of support groups for families affected by neuromuscular diseases.
About LA Fitness
Founded in 1984, LA Fitness is one of the fastest-growing sports club chains in the U.S. and presently has more than 500 locations in 22 states and Canada. LA Fitness' mission is to help as many people as possible achieve the benefits of a healthy lifestyle by creating a nationwide network of sports clubs, offering its members the widest range of amenities and the friendliest service at an affordable price. To learn more about LA Fitness and to find the club near you, visit lafitness.com or call (800) LA FITNESS.
About Zumba Fitness LLC
Zumba Fitness is a global lifestyle brand that fuses fitness, entertainment and culture into an exhilarating dance-party workout. Coined “fitness parties,” Zumba classes blend upbeat world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography, which provide effective, total-body workouts. Founded in 2001, the company is now the largest branded fitness program in the world, reporting more than 14 million weekly class participants, in more than 140,000 locations across more than 150 countries.
In addition to its original Zumba® program, the company also offers a range of specialty classes, including Zumba Gold® (for active older adults), Zumba® Toning (body-sculpting class that uses maracalike Toning Sticks), Aqua Zumba® (the ultimate “pool party” workout), Zumbatomic® (Zumba routines for kids), Zumba Sentao™ (chair-based Zumba class that strengthens, balances and stabilizes the core) and Zumba® in the Circuit (a 30-minute workout that combines signature Zumba® moves with circuit training at timed intervals). The Zumba® fitness lifestyle is rounded out by the company’s many consumer product offerings, including DVD sets, music collections, multiseasonal apparel and footwear, video games, Fitness-Concert™ events and a lifestyle magazine. For more information about Zumba Fitness programs and products, or to find a live class, visit zumba.com, and find Zumba Fitness on Facebook and Twitter.