ROXBURY, NJ - A fitness center in Succasunna is hosting a 6-day-long fundraiser that will help provide counseling services to those impacted by the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The owners of Athletic Republic on Route 10 West, are promising to donate 100 percent of all money they raise during the March 5- through March 10 collection effort. They say they were motivated to raise the money after co-owner Salar Ghahary spoke with a childhood friend whose two children and a nephew attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"One of his children lost 13 friends and the other lost five," said Athletic Republic co-owner Janine Pompeo. "He told Sal that the biggest thing they need now is counseling services."
Those who want to participate in the fundraiser will be awarded a workout at the fitness center, if they desire, said Pompeo. "You don't have to take the class," she noted. "You can just call over the phone (to offer a donation). "We're just really, really trying to get a good turnout for a really important cause and honestly put the focus back where it belongs in this tragedy: On the people that were affected. These people just can't believe this was able to happen."
Athletic Republic is inviting people to stop at the facility next week to make a donation. By doing so, contributors can write a personal message in a "book of support" that will be given to the recipients, they said. The company is asking people who want the free workout to make a reservation by calling (862) 419-9111.
"Politics aside, one thing we can all agree on is our children should be safe in school," says an Athletic Republic poster announcing the fundraiser. "Whether or not you have been personally affected by this tragedy, we all have a desire to show our support. But how? What difference would one person's offering of support make? We are here to tell you that together we are strong!"