MELROSE PARK, Ill. – Gottlieb Center for Fitness (GCFF) is hosting “Sweat For A Vet,” a three-hour exercise event from 8:30 -11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, in Melrose Park. “Gottlieb is raising money for adaptive exercise equipment and vocational training for local veterans in need,” said Ursula Dams, assistant director, GCFF.
GCFF is participating in this event along with several other fitness centers across the United States. “Everyone is welcome to come choose from exciting programs, including group cycling, rowing, trekking, boot camp, Zumba and more,” Dams said. For a minimum donation of $25, participants can choose from a variety of exercise formats taught in 20-minute segments.
“You do not have to be a club member and you can exercise at your own pace and comfort level,” Dams said. “Supporters can also choose to just offer a donation or purchase a commemorative T-shirt as a way of offering much-needed help on Veterans Day."
A Local Veteran's Story
This is the first year that Gottlieb has participated in the national event but is already receiving positive feedback from the community.
“When I go to Hines and see the many vets who are disabled, it breaks my heart,” said Larry Greene, GCFF member and veteran who is contributing to the event. “I am proud to be a vet and I am very proud that Gottlieb is helping veterans."
Greene and his wife, Aiko, have been Gottlieb fitness members for more than 10 years and this event is very important to them. Greene recalls his own armed services experience:
“I was drafted into the Army in October 1963. After eight weeks of basic training at Fort Knox in Kentucky, I went to Fort Rucker in Alabama for training to be a helicopter mechanic. Every class ahead of us was sent to Vietnam and it seemed to me we would be going there. But God had another plan for us and our class went to Germany.” There Greene worked as a mechanic on helicopters and was later assigned to be in charge of the tool shop. He was discharged in October 1965.
“My unit, the 8th Aviation Battalion, left Germany in 1966 and went to Fort Riley in Kansas for jungle training. From there they went to Vietnam where many of them lost their lives flying rescue missions for injured infantry troops. I want to visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., someday where I will trace the names of my friends who lost their lives in service to our country,” he said. “Supporting GCFF’s ‘Sweat for a Vet’ is an easy way to help fallen heroes."
All are invited to call the Gottlieb Center for Fitness at (708) 450-5790 to pledge support, buy a T-shirt or to register for the event. Walk-ins are also welcome.