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Anytime Fitness raises $1,600 for charity

Danielle Ryan

(5/30) On April 29, Anytime Fitness Thurmont held its first Annual Inaugural Anytime Fitness 5K race. The day began with foreboding weather and some spiting of rain, but as soon as the runners were ready to take off at 9 a.m., the skies cleared up. 110 runners attended the 5K, and all went smoothly, minus one small mishap with a malfunctioning air horn, said Anytime Fitness owner, George Puvel. "We got the crowd all hyped up and ready to go, pressed the button on the air horn, but instead of a grand alarm as expected, the horn simply fizzed." The crowd couldn’t help but laugh though, and the rest of the event continued on smoothly.

Puvel noted that the slight air horn mishap was laughable and in a sense meaningful to him, because it reminded him of the type of prank his late daughter, Samantha would have played. In 2011 the Puvel family lost their nine-year-old daughter to the fight against cancer. The journey that the Puvel family went through during the nine-year battle inspired them to host an event to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Greater Washington.

The Puvels spent a lot of time at the Ronald McDonald house while their daughter was fighting cancer, and during that time they met many of these struggling families. "The Ronald McDonald House provides families with the comfort and peace of mind and allows them to unburden themselves with some stress while allowing them to focus on the care of the child," said George Puvel. It was he, and his families’ intent to do something to continue supporting this charity, further helping other families receive the comfort that they, themselves, received.

"When we were going through the fight for cancer, we were so blessed by the community. Friends and members of the community were so supportive. We knew that we wanted to find a way to give back in any way that we could." This was the first year the 5K was held, but with outstanding support from the community, it was a tremendous success. Anytime Fitness raised $1,600, which will cover the cost of over 100 nights for families fighting children’s cancer.

Puvel wanted to thank all the sponsors for the event, who graciously donated $100 each as well as all the participants who attended the event. "The sponsors didn’t even bat an eyelash," Puvel said, "when asked if they would consider being sponsors, they were more than willing to show their support. The generosity of these sponsors covered a significant amount of the costs to get the event off the ground."

The event also would not have been possible without the work from the dedicated team at Anytime Fitness. John Grim, Jason Blough, Jordan Stouch, Melissa Borns, Bette Troxell and Melissa Stotlemeyer were all key players in making this event a success. Vince Testa from the Thurmont Police Department and the Guardian Hose Company also lent their services for the event.

Anytime Fitness in Thurmont has been avidly involved in the community of Thurmont, always looking to give back to a community that has showed them so much support. Staff members have been involved with the local food bank, blood drives, CPR classes and self defense classes. Hosting the first Inaugural 5K event is just another way that Anytime Fitness in Thurmont will continue giving back.

Puvel said he looked forward to holding the 5K event next year. He hopes to continue building on the event every year, contributing to the Ronald McDonald House and many other charities.

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