IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- LA Fitness announced today that it will host an in-club Zumba® class at more than 500 of the company's locations on Feb. 23 in support of Augie's Quest, a nonprofit research initiative dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). LA Fitness, one of the fastest growing health club chains in North America, has donated to Augie's Quest for several years. This year's Zumba event marks the third in-club activity hosted by LA Fitness, but the first time Zumba Fitness will be offered as the activity.
In March 2005, Augie Nieto, a prominent leader in the fitness industry, was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Despite the limitations of the disease, Augie continues to lead an active life and is an activist for others fighting the disease. After his diagnosis, Augie coped with his illness by drawing strength from his family, friends and a flood of letters and e-mails from supporters. Realizing that he could use his voice to raise awareness for others, Augie teamed up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and created "Augie's Quest" with the sole purpose of finding a cure for ALS. The team he assembled to fight the disease and find a cure holds to one mission: identify the genetic basis of the disease in order to seek a treatment.
"Working with Augie and his cause is 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."
LA Fitness will donate 100% of the proceeds from the event to the Muscular Dystrophy Association's ALS research initiative. ALS is a progressive motor neuron disease that causes complete paralysis. Approximately 5,600 people are diagnosed with ALS each year, affecting as many as 30,000 Americans at any given time. Survival is typically three to five years after diagnosis, and no cure currently exists for the 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®. "Fitness has been instrumental in helping me to fight this disease, and working with a company like LA Fitness that encourages a healthy lifestyle brings us that much closer to our goal."
The event is open to both members and non- members for a donation of $20 in support of Augie's Quest. Additionally, LA Fitness recently expanded its partnership with Zumba Fitness to offer more than 1,000 new Zumba classes to their club fitness schedules at more than 500 locations throughout North America. For more information on the event and for a list of LA Fitness Clubs participating, please visit: www.augiesquest.org/lafitness.
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 nearest to you, visit www.lafitness.com or call (800) LA FITNESS.
About Augie's Quest
Fitness pioneer Augie Nieto started Augie's Quest (augiesquest.org) in conjunction with MDA's ALS Division. Nieto is co-founder and former president of Life Fitness of Chicago, and chairman of Octane Fitness. Augie's Quest raises money primarily through a variety of special events, including: BASH for Augie's Quest; Tradition of Hope in Los Angeles; Big Canyon Golf in Newport Beach, Calif.; ClubCorp Charity Classic at golf clubs nationwide; and Clubs for the Quest, a program that allows various fitness clubs across the country to engage their members in fundraising programs and events to benefit MDA's Augie's Quest.
MDA (mda.org) is the world's leading nongovernmental provider of ALS services and funder of ALS research. Over the years, MDA has led the fight against ALS, investing more than $290 million in its ALS research, services and information programs. People with ALS can be seen at 200 MDA clinics across the country, including 41 MDA/ALS centers. The Association's research, health care services, advocacy and education programs provide help and hope to more than 1 million Americans affected by more than 40 other progressive neuromuscular diseases. For the latest research news and information about ALS and the other diseases in MDA's program, visit mda.org and follow MDA on Facebook (facebook.com/MDANational) and Twitter (@MDAnews).
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 over 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, multi-seasonal 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 us on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE LA Fitness