Tee It Up for the Troops, a national non-profit organization, has selected the first recipients of a grant designed to help military veterans open their own gyms and provide additional employment opportunities for fellow veterans.
Hannah and Tristan Ambrozewski, both of whom served in Iraq, will use a $125,000 grant and an additional $125,000 loan as start-up capital to open an Anytime Fitness gym near Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC. The Ambrozewski’s, who signed a franchise agreement at the Anytime Fitness corporate headquarters in Hastings, MN this morning (August 5th), hope to open their gym in early 2016.
“We’re incredibly excited to help veterans and non-veteran alike in our community learn how to lead healthier lifestyles,” said Hannah Ambrozewski, who served as an intelligence analyst with the U.S. Army from 2005 to 2012.
“We also love the idea of being able to provide jobs to other military veterans,” said Tristan Ambrozewski, who likewise served as an intelligence analyst in the Army, and now performs similar duties as a Department of Defense (DOD) contractor.
Anytime Fitness’ Heartfirst Charitable Foundation provided a grant to Tee It Up for the Troops, which then selected the Ambrozewski’s as recipients from a pool of dozens of outstanding candidates.
“Operation Heartfirst™ is our way of saying thank you to all of the fine service men and women who’ve made tremendous sacrifices for our country,” said Dave Mortensen, President of Anytime Fitness, LLC. “We couldn’t be happier with the selection of the Ambrozewski’s as the first recipients. They each have a long history of advocating physical fitness and serving not only their countries, but others in their community as well.
“We were looking for candidates with distinguished records of military service, who are eager to help others lead healthier lifestyles and who continue to serve and support the U.S. military and its veterans,” said Tim Wegscheid, President of Tee It Up for the Troops. “We also looked for candidates with a passion for fitness and community engagement. The Ambrozewski’s fit that description exactly.”
Anytime Fitness, LLC has agreed to waive its initial franchise fee and ongoing royalty payments related to this opportunity.
“The unemployment rate for military veterans is significantly higher than the national average,” said Chuck Runyon, CEO of Anytime Fitness, LLC. “That’s just not right. Our hope is that Operation Heartfirst™ will not only help veterans operate their own businesses, but also provide jobs for other vets as club managers and personal trainers – for many years to come.”
Congrats Hannah and Tristan!