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Gymtopia. A place where clubs do social good

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A young girl from the Belo region of Ethiopia is smiling. She is dressed in a long olive coloured dress and standing next to a mud wall which creates a lovely contrast – Gymtopia.org

Creating a sustainable community in Ethiopia Sasiga Lowlands, Ethiopia

Since Fifth Avenue Club opened in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1996, it has developed a local reputation for setting the standard for “friendly, personalized service”. On the other side of the world in Ethiopia, it has become known for supporting a sustainable development project that has changed the lives of over 40,000 people, in nine villages, in the Belo region of Ethiopia. The club, owned by Darren Kanwischer, has been involved with Food for the Hungry (FH) since June of 2007. Three dollars of each member’s dues are donated to Belo each month. Fifth Avenue Club has also donated proceeds from the sale of old equipment, held a 10k fundraising run (“Run for Belo”),  had members fund raise among themselves and are currently involved with “Run for Water” in Calgary, Alberta.


Beautiful image of a young boy and girl (possibly brother and sister) with big smiles

Supporting African children through sponsorship and fund raising Primarily Uganda, the majority of the children live in the village of Kisoro

Each of our health clubs and spas sponsor a child through the Compassion Charity’s sponsorship programme. Compassion UK is a Christian Charity which helps children aged between 3 years and 22 years break free from the cycle of poverty. We currently sponsor 30 children and this funding helps with education, health care, hygiene training and the provision of food. In addition, our clubs and spas fund raise for the communities where our sponsored children live. We have provided financial support of more than £100,000 over a nine year period as well as the time of our staff teams. In 2006, three of our staff team visited Uganda for four days to meet some of our sponsored children and to see a play area in their community which our staff and customers had raised funds for.

by Fitness Express Health Clubs & Imagine Spas


Fresh Fitness staff present Danish Red Cross with a cheque for 100,000 Danish Kroner (photo by Jacob Bloch)

Tag et bad, byg en brønd Over hele Afrika

Vi opkræver 3 kr. fra vores medlemmer for at tage et 1-minut langt bad – det er omkring $0,50 cents. Mens vores medlemmer nyder deres dejligt varme bad, er der andre mennesker i verden, der ikke har adgang til vand, så vi tænkte at forbinde disse to øjeblikke. Så nu, når et af vores medlemmer tager et bad, går de penge, de bruger direkte videre til at opbygge en brønd med frisk vand i Afrika


Fresh Fitness staff present Danish Red Cross with a cheque for 100,000 Danish Kroner (photo by Jacob Bloch)

Take a shower, build a fresh water well in Africa Across Africa

We charge members three Danish Kroner to take a one-minute shower – that is around $0.50 cents. While our members are enjoying their lovely hot shower, there are other people in the world that have no access to water, so we thought about connecting these two moments together. So now, when one of our members takes a shower, the money they spend goes directly to build a fresh water well in Africa.