Crunch For The Kids: The Ab Crunch Challenge™ Kicks Off Its Second Year

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National Fitness Challenge To Raise Funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Take the Ab Crunch Challenge™: Participate in the Lady of America/Ladies Workout Express Free 6-Week Training Program

The national Ab Crunch Challenge™, a fitness challenge that last year raised over $200,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®, will be held for the second year in a row on Saturday, March 28th, 2009. Once again, St. Jude and Lady of America Fitness will challenge women across the country to participate in a free 6-week training program at local Lady of America, Ladies Workout Express or Workout Express locations, beginning in February 2009 to prepare for the Ab Crunch Challenge™. Each crunch has the potential to raise much-needed funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the premier center for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases.The goal of this year's challenge is to double the amount raised last year to $500,000.

Open to club members and non-members alike, there is no cost to participate in the ab crunch training classes. Instead, as an Ab Crunch Challenge™ participant, members and guests will raise money for St. Jude by recruiting friends, family members and co-workers as sponsors and supporters. Over 100 Lady of America and Ladies Workout Express clubs held the challenge last year, with approximately 1,500 members participating, and a per member crunch average of 2,500 crunches during the hour-long challenge (the maximum amount that can be properly performed in 60 minutes). The event stretched across the country from rural White River Junction, V.T. to Palos Verdes, C.A. just outside Los Angeles.

The Ab Crunch Challenge™" was born in 2006 when Tony Parziale, a Lady of America franchisee held the event as a small philanthropic fundraiser for members at Ladies Workout Express in Hamilton and Lawrenceville, N. J. Parziale, a former two-time Guinness World Record holder for performing the most crunches in an hour says "I'm very proud to participate in this national campaign to benefit a very worthy cause, and help educate women on the importance of strengthening their core as a first step to physical fitness."

"We are so grateful to Lady of America fitness centers and the ab crunch challenge participants for their support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," said John P. Moses, chief executive officer of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "Every day our patients and their families find the strength to battle cancer and other catastrophic illnesses. The money raised from this fitness challenge will help St. Jude continue to give hope to our children."

For more information about the Ab Crunch Challenge™ and to find a participating Lady of America, Ladies Workout Express or Workout Express location near you, visit http://www.ladyofamerica.com/abcrunch.

About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit http://www.stjude.org.

About Lady of America Franchise Corporation

For over 20 years, Lady of America Franchise Corporation (LOAFC), franchisor of the Lady of America, Ladies Workout Express, Workout Express and Health Clubs of America fitness centers, has been an innovator in the constantly evolving business of women's fitness. LOAFC was established in 1984 with the goal of providing a dynamic and supportive environment to hundreds of thousands of women working on their fitness and lifestyle goals in a safe and comfortable setting while enjoying the company and support of other women. Today LOAFC is one of the largest chains of full-service women's fitness centers with over 400 franchises in operation across 45 states and nine countries.

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Jay Berkowitz
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