Applied Fitness Solutions Teams Up with KidzKare

Michigan Fitness Start-Up Forms Unique Partnership with Local Charity

Everyone knows the benefits of exercise. Feel better, have more energy, lose weight, survive another harsh Michigan winter; the list goes on. This year, one local gym is hoping to add “giving to charity” to the list.

After recently opening their third location this January in Rochester Hills, Ann Arbor based Applied Fitness Solutions (AFS) has found a way to raise awareness, funds and motivation levels all by simply “re-purposing” the dreaded enrollment fee that normally comes along with signing up at a new gym. They’ve teamed up with Rochester charity KidzKare and created a “charity challenge” meant to give clients an extra push in their first (often most difficult) month of exercising. 

Jared Freeman and Nate Langley of Applied Fitness Solutions with Jay Mitchell from KidKare

Jared Freeman and Nate Langley of Applied Fitness Solutions with Jay Mitchell from KidKare

Oakland University grad and managing partner of AFS Rochester Hills, Jared Freeman had much to say about the initiative. “On the most basic level, the charity challenge aligns with our mission as a company,” Freeman said. “It’s our mission to unite, empower, and enrich the communities we serve, so coming to a new community, we want to immediately make an impact and we want to reach beyond helping people with their fitness goals. Fitness is a small part of our lives and I think we’d be selling ourselves short if we didn’t try to do more.”

The structure of the challenge is very simple. A new AFS client pays $50 when they sign up. This fee covers the initial “orientation” meeting with the client’s trainer. AFS immediately sets half of the $50 off to the side for the charity challenge. From there, the client sets a 4-week class attendance goal, and if they hit their goal, AFS donates $25 directly to KidzKare in the client’s name. 

AFS Rochester Hills will also be participating in the charity challenge by setting a “lives changed” (new client enrollments) goal every month. If Freeman and his team aim to enroll 70 new clients in a month and they reach this goal, they’ll be donating an additional $1000 to the KidzKare charity.

Applied Fitness Solutions first client, Tonia with trainers

Applied Fitness Solutions first client, Tonia with trainers

Founded in 2011 by pediatrician Dr. Jay Mitchell, KidzKare has become a prominent contributor to the Rochester community by introducing several programs aimed at serving underprivileged children. “The main goals of KidzKare’s programs are: TEACH, FEED, SHARE.” Mitchell explained. “First, to educate children with information and opportunities that they wouldn’t typically receive in school. Second, to provide locally grown, fresh, organic produce free for those in need and at a reasonable cost for the rest of the community, and third to share our ideas and experiences with anyone and everyone.” 

Mitchell, a long-time Rochester resident and business owner chooses his nonprofit partners very carefully. He is excited about the partnership with AFS citing a shared mindset when it comes to community health. “They live and breathe in a more collaborative and less corporate/dictatorial manner, which matches up with my ideals as a pediatrician,” he said.

Contributions from the AFS charity challenge will help KidzKare expand their existing programs, most notably the “back to school bonanza” which takes place at the beginning of each school year and provides backpacks, health screenings, haircuts, and more to underprivileged kids in the community. In 2017 Mitchell has plans to expand his community garden program by adding a new greenhouse supporting local food pantries. 

Applied Fitness Solutions (located behind Dick’s sporting goods at the old Winchester mall location) Opened their doors for business January 2, with a formal grand opening celebration planned for later in the month. “I think the charity challenge being the first thing people experience at AFS sends the right message about what we believe in as a company,” Freeman said. “We couldn’t be more excited to get started in Rochester.”

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