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Pittsburgh regional fitness centers come together to support Australian wildlife

Pittsburgh regional fitness centers come together to support Australian wildlife

Pittsburgh regional fitness centers come together to support Australian wildlife.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Tribune-Review

Whether it’s running or riding, boxing or boot camp, Sunday is the time to gear up and send relief to Australian wildlife charities still scrambling from ongoing and devastating fires.

Ramp ‘N Rize fitness center in Sewickley is spearheading a unique fundraiser to benefit WIRES, an Australian wildlife charity dedicated to native animal rescue.

All proceeds will assist koalas, kangaroos and other animals facing food and water shortages, and loss of habitat.

More than 35 facilities in the greater Pittsburgh fitness community will join in the fundraiser and offer donation-based classes, including boutique gyms in Carnegie, Murrysville, North Hills, North Side and Wexford.

“Australia’s unprecedented disaster has motivated people to help and our community is no exception,” Ramp ‘N Rize owner Alba Tull said. “I immediately knew that people of Pittsburgh would be quick to action and I’m looking forward to see everyone sweating for a good cause.”

Tull is the CEO of the Tull Family Foundation, which will match all donations.

Anyone interested in hitting the treadmill or stretching it out on a yoga mat can find a complete list of participating centers at rampnrize.com. The Beaver Street facility in Sewickley will offer classes at noon at 2 p.m. on Jan. 26 to help the fund.

Australian wildfires ignited months ago and have ravaged huge swathes of land, with South New Wales being the hardest hit and more than 3,000 homes destroyed or damaged, CNN reported.

According to WIRES, the blazes have destroyed bushland and national parks, with ecologists estimating more than 800 million animals have been impacted.

For surviving animals, the long-term impacts on habitat will prove challenging, officials said.

Greg Venbrux, co-owner of CycleBar North Hills in Ross Township, said the fundraiser will make great strides in assisting wildlife rescues across the globe but will also help the local fitness community join hands and work towards a common goal. It’s rare, he said, to be able to participate in a fundraiser with so many others that will make an impact on the world stage.
“Our CycleBar studio is honored to participate in this event,” he said. “The damage caused by the Australian wildfires is staggering. It’s nice to be able to provide a space for Pittsburghers to exercise as one community and give back to another community half a world away.”

Some of the other participating studios include Club Pilates North Hills, Club Pilates South Hills, CycleBar North Hills, Pittsburgh FIT, Pure Barre Murrysville, Pure Barre Wexford, Row House, Salt Power Yoga, Shape, Steel Revolution, SWEAT PGH, The Barre Code North Hills, The Barre Code Shadyside and The Studio Sewickley.

“The fitness community has a pretty wide network in Pittsburgh,” April Jackson, general manager at Mecka Fitness in Mt. Lebanon, said. “We want to do things to support the community – and that means the world.”

The site along Washington Road will offer its popular 10:15 a.m. cycle class with Instructor Richard Butler which will have guests spinning and sweating for 45 minutes.
Jackson said it is a pay-what-you-can fundraiser, with a suggested donation of $20.

The class is limited to 30 bikes but anyone at the gym’s 30-plus daylong classes can pitch in as well.

To donate online, visit classy.org/give/267707/#!/donation/checkout.