Several local businesses and the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce recently banded together to throw a Fitness Crawl event and donate the proceeds to the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club (BGC).
In total, $1,830 was donated to the club. The check was presented on Dec. 9 at the BGC.
The Fitness Crawl — the second such event to be held by the Chamber and dubbed “Fitness Crawl 2.0” — took place on Nov. 2. About 60 participants went on a multi-stop journey from business to business, where they got to do various fitness activities.
Picture yoga at one stop, cycling at another, and crossfit at the next — like a pub crawl but for different workout spots. The group all partook together and then moved on to the next location.
Laurie Givan, Chamber of Commerce executive director, said the event is a great example of people coming together to support their community, but also to build new friendships and connect with fellow citizens in new ways.
“What was really neat about it was the group and the camaraderie as they were moving from one location to the next. There was such good energy,” she said.
Six fitness facilities each donated space, staff and time, allowing the crawlers to have a real workout experience at each venue. The businesses did not take any of the funds.
The six facilities were Barre Rev, Club Pilates, MI Athletic Club, Mercer Island CrossFit, Orangetheory Fitness and Yogabliss.
The entire afternoon of activities lasted about two hours, cost each participant $30 and came with a swag bag of items donated by various local businesses. Sano Cafe was passing out bites of their energy bars.
People registered through the Chamber’s website and chose three of the six locations to visit for an instructor-guided session at each. After the crawl and all the exercising, about a third of the participants gathered at Mioposto for a celebratory bite and a drink.
“This event is a collaboration of businesses and brings great energy to our Town Center for an afternoon,” Givan said. “It’s truly about business collaboration and a willingness to work as a team to educate and instruct the guests about each fitness facility. It’s really a positive thing to see so many business owners and managers jump in and get excited about offering this type of thing to our community, and it’s for a great cause, too.”
The proceeds from the first Fitness Crawl, back in June, went to the Mercer Island Parks & Recreation Department. The Mercer Island BGC was thrilled to receive the donation this time.
“We are so grateful to Laurie Givan and the Chamber of Commerce for supporting the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club. The Fitness Crawl is such a great fundraiser for our community,” said Becky Shaddle, operations director of the Mercer Island BGC. “I was overjoyed when Laurie Givan reached out to the club informing us that the Chamber of Commerce had selected the club as their nonprofit to support at the Fitness Crawl 2.0.”
She said that she and Givan had discussed how the club could best use the funding, and Shaddle identified the BGC Teen Program that offers sixth through 12th graders who are members of the club a free place to hang out, play sports and games, join other clubs, or do homework. The BGC is open for teens after school each school day until 6 p.m.
Shaddle said a teen favorite is dodgeball. Additionally, the teens learn cooking and culinary skills during the Wednesday cooking club — dubbed the ‘Grub Club’ — which will expand thanks to the donation.
“Having the community support our programming is amazing,” Shaddle said.
She said the donation will also support BGC leadership clubs, like the Keystone Club for 14- to 18-year-olds that focuses on academic success, career preparation and community service. Another leadership club supported is the Torch Club, for ages 11-13, which focuses on service to club and community, education, health and fitness, and social recreation.
Givan said the Chamber plans to have additional Fitness Crawls in the future, with the Chamber’s goal having two each year.
Information about the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce and its events, such as their first luncheon of the year on Jan. 9 at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center, can be found online at http://www.mercerislandchamberofcommerce.org/.