Thanks to the support of its franchise owners, coaches, studio staff and more than 430,000 members across the U.S., Orangetheory Fitness was able to more than double its original target of $1 million.
During the #IBurnForALS campaign — from Feb. 20 to March 5 — more than 620 Orangetheory studios across the U.S. encouraged their members to donate money to the cause.
“We have been blown away by the generosity of our members and are extremely proud to be able to donate $2,085,305 to Augie’s Quest to aid the fight against ALS,” Dave Long, co-founder and CEO of Orangetheory Fitness, said in a news release. “ALS is not an incurable disease; it’s an underfunded one, and with this contribution, we hope to change that.”
Augie’s Quest was co-founded by Augie Nieto and his wife Lynne. Nieto, who ran several fitness-related companies, was diagnosed with ALS in 2005 and has since been fully committed to raising funds for the cause through events and collaborations around the world.
The money will be used to support research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute, a nonprofit biotech in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is dedicated to finding a cure for ALS.
The institute’s cutting edge research has led to the discovery of AT-1501, a new antibody which acts in a highly targeted, disease-specific way to tamp down the immune system, and is a potential ALS treatment. The institute also pioneered the ALS Precision Medicine Program, one of the best programs and partnerships with ALS patients to discover other potential therapies.
“I’m incredibly inspired by the Orangetheory members and nonmembers alike who came together to contribute to the wildly successful #IBurnForALS campaign,” said Nieto, the chief inspiration officer for Augie’s Quest and chairman of the board for the ALS Therapy Development Institute.
“This campaign could not have come at a more critical time for ALS research. Thanks to Orangetheory Fitness, I am confident that we will reach our ultimate goal to support those awaiting treatment and find a cure,” he said.
The first Orangetheory Fitness studio opened in 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company currently has franchises in more than 620 studios in 45 U.S. states and 12 countries.