Ann Arbor Gym Partners with Local Charities to "Make Change" in Community

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Applied Fitness Solutions finds higher purpose for enrollment fees by partnering with five local charities to raise awareness and funds for communities in which it serves.

AFS Charity - Local Ann Arbor gym gives to communities

Being healthy starts from within, and we feel empowering new clients to help out in their community contributes to their self-esteem which ultimately leads to more motivation in other aspects of life.

We all know the benefits of exercise. Feel better, have more energy, lose weight, get up the stairs without gasping for air. This fall, one area gym is hoping to add “giving to charity” to the list.

Ann Arbor-based Applied Fitness Solutions, a local chain of personal training gyms, has partnered with five Michigan-based charities to raise awareness and funds all while helping people get more physically fit. How are they doing it? By re-purposing the “enrollment fee” typically collected to help on-board new fitness clients. AFS CEO and founder Michael Stack had much to say about the new initiative.

“It’s really simple. A new client pays $50 when they sign up at AFS. Instead of using that enrollment fee toward funding the collateral needed to bring on the client, we put it off to the side. From there, the client chooses a charity, sets a 4-week class attendance goal, and then, if they hit it, we donate 100% of that enrollment fee to their charity,” said Stack, who founded the company in 2007. “Obviously, $50 isn’t going to change the world, but if you think about how many clients we sign up in a week, a month, a year[...]if people get behind this we can really make an impact."

When asked about the inspiration for the campaign, Stack said, “being healthy starts from within, and we feel empowering new clients to help out in their community contributes to their self-esteem which ultimately leads to more motivation in other aspects of life.”

Stack hopes the positive message will resonate with people and get them inspired. “If nothing else, we get some people healthier and generate well-deserved funds and attention for these great charities. To me, that’s a big win for everyone.”

Charity partners include Ann Arbor’s own FoodGatherers (a non-profit food bank serving Washtenaw county), Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance, The American Heart Association, Special Olympics of Washtenaw County, and the newly formed ChadTough Foundation (named for Chad Carr, grandson of former UM head football coach Lloyd Carr). Chad is battling a rare form of brain cancer called DIPG. Chad’s parents, Jason and Tammi Carr launched the foundation in the summer of 2015. Jason was forthcoming when describing his and Tammi’s drive to create the foundation.

“When you get that diagnosis it’s a helpless feeling that there’s not treatment, there’s just not anything you can do," Carr said. "For us, this is a way that we can do something and change that. We’re thankful that AFS is on board. Every little bit helps in our mission to give a better outlook to families affected by DIPG."

Information on the “Make Change” charity initiative can be found at

About Applied Fitness Solutions
Applied Fitness Solutions is a hybrid training facility where the individualization and accountability of having a one-on-one personal trainer is paired with fun, motivating group exercise classes. Clients are assigned a certified fitness practitioner who implements comprehensive fitness and nutritional programs, providing the benefits of personal training services for a fraction of the cost. AFS has two area locations, one on S. State Road near Ellsworth in Ann Arbor, the other just off of I-275 on Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth Township. To check out AFS and to learn more about the programs visit

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Nate Langley

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