SPRING FITNESS CENTERS IS OFFERING ALL ACTIVE AND NON-ACTIVE MILITARY A SPECIAL PROMOTION at all of their locations in Spring, Magnolia and Montgomery. Spring Fitness would like to thank all of our military and all that they do. When asked how long the plans to continue offering the program for veterans, owner Tom Kennison replied, without hesitation: “Forever. We’ll never stop.” Please bring your Id or DD214 into any one of your 3 locations to redeem! *See club for details!
Spring Fitness seems, at ﬁrst glance, like a fairly typical small regional chain scattered through out northwest Houston, Texas. It’s three multipurpose facilities, averaging 11,000 square feet in size, are situated in Spring, Tomball, and Magnolia, and collectively serve some 6,000 people. Each boast an attractive all-inclusive membership package, which encompasses aerobics, personal training, tanning, and childcare.
What differentiates the Spring Fitness centers from their competitors, including several big-box operations, is a charitable initiative that no other club in the area, and, conceivably, nationwide, is conducting. Last August, the company began offering free six month memberships-no strings attached-to U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel.
The idea was the collective brainchild of owner Tom Kennison; general manager Derek Terell, a hospital corpsman during Operation Desert Storm in 1991; and Spring Fitness staffers, most of whome have either served in the military or have family and friends who’ve also answered their nation’s call. The team launched the campaign to honor military personnel residing in their market, acknowledging and honoring their service and sacriﬁce, by opening the clubs’ doors to them for free.
The program got underway in a low-key way, with some roadside signs and a ﬂier in a coupon booklet sent out in the mail. Now, some 100 veterans and active military men and women are making use of the gyms at no cost. Each pays a $35 processing fee when they sign up, but, beyond that, nothing, and Spring Fitness receives no tax beneﬁt or other compensation.
“For clubs, the only downside is if you’re worried about money,” says Kennison, “but I’d encourage every one to do this. With the six-month membership, our service men and women can use our facilities, stay in top shape, and not have to pay a single cent. In return, we feel good about giving them a place to come where they’re appreciated, and about being able to contribute something to their health and wellness.
“Even people who aren’t vets or in the military have found this program appealing,” notes Kennison. “They want to become members because they’re proud of what we’re doing.” About 70% of qualifying members who take advantage of the free six-month membership continue to pay regular membership dues after their short-term period has expired.
Spring Fitness, whose heart is apparently as big as, well, Texas, is also involved with RBI Foundation, which supports youth baseball; participates in fundraisers for Susan G. Komen for the cure; and hosts blood drives at each of its clubs twice a year to support the Gulf coast Regional Blood Center.
When asked how long he plans to continue offering the program for veterans, Kennison replies, without hesitation: “Forever. We’ll never stop.”