’Tis is the Season for Thanks and Giving
Playmakers Fitness Foundation Celebrates 2017
I was inspired by the numerous Giving Tuesday messages on Nov. 28 and reminded of the meaningful work happening in our community.
Playmakers has been committed to giving back to the community since its doors opened in 1981. In 2012, when the philanthropic goals had outgrown the capabilities of one retail store, Playmakers established a 501(c) non-profit organization, the Playmakers Fitness Foundation (PFF) with the purpose of doing more to support community health and wellness.
The mission of the PFF is to empower all people to adopt and sustain a healthier lifestyle by providing opportunities for people to move more and educational programs for people to move better. Partnerships with local like-minded organizations have helped us accomplish this mission.
We’re grateful for our partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to provide a free eight-week Winter Warm Up program in eight local communities. The 2018 Winter Warm Up kick off will be on Jan. 27 at Lansing Community College and will begin training for a 5K goal event on March 25.
We also appreciate Blue Cross Blue Shield’s ongoing support of opportunities to keep people moving through the summer months by sponsoring our free Summer Trail Series events at local parks and nature trails.
Every month, we partner with the Lansing Brewing Company to host free Brew Run/Walk events to encourage physical activity downtown in the Stadium District, on the Lansing River Trail, and on the grounds of the capital.
These events consistently exceed capacity and raise funds for, and awareness of, local non-profit organizations. In 2017, we’ve raised over $10,000 for 11 local charities. Join us for the Dec. 12 LBC Brew Run/Walk and help support the work of December’s charity partner, Ele’s Place.
Physicians Health Plan (PHP) helped to fund free Team Playmakers Kids’ Running/Walking Clubs at St. Vincent’s Home for Children and the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing throughout the year, inspiring hundreds of kids to move more and move better.
Volunteers from the local running community donate countless volunteer hours to mentor and train with the deserving children at St. Vincent’s and the Boys and Girls Club. We are committed to providing a team experience for the children and hope to inspire a life-long love of running and walking in each participant. PHP also provided funding for summer track and field programs in Okemos, Grand Ledge and Meridian Township.
The PFF is proud to partner with a number of other great local businesses and charities, including Foods For Living, Meijer, McAlister’s, Mayfair, Great Harvest, Breadsmith, Whole Foods Market, Dunkin Donuts, Jimmy Johns, mParks, Ingham County Parks, Sparrow, Starbucks, Eagle Eye, Uncle John’s Cider Mill and Buffalo Wild Wings to enhance the race experience for participants.
The charitable nature of our running/walking community is inspiring. We have hundreds of volunteers each year that help to make our events possible by assisting with registrations, ensuring safe courses, supporting participants and providing post-race nourishment. In addition to volunteering their time, many of our runners and walkers donate to our selected charity partners, supporting the meaningful work of local non-profits.
The end result is the PFF has impacted over 50,000 people in 2017 through run/walk events, Good Form Running and Good Form Walking outreach programs, and Corporate Challenge events. While Playmakers and its non-profit Fitness Foundation are proud to have contributed to community health and wellness initiatives, we are equally proud of the meaningful partnerships formed to accomplish the goal of improving the health of our community.
Giving Tuesday is not just a day, it’s a movement. And, our Greater Lansing community is moving in the right direction through meaningful partnerships and a commitment to the health of all community members! Join us at our final wellness event of the year, the Playmakers Holiday Classic at Jenison Field House on the campus of Michigan State University to raise funds for the Greater Lansing Food Bank and the work of the Playmakers Fitness Foundation. Run, Walk, Live & Give!
Marcy Gillespie-Kinzer, a native of Lansing, avid runner, and Executive Director of the Playmakers Fitness Foundation.