The other day, my good friend John McCarthy, chairman of the Bash for Augie's Quest, sent an email with a heartwarming video of Augie Nieto walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding.
The feel-good report from Los Angeles TV station KCBS aired just before Thanksgiving, and since we're still in the holiday spirit, we're sharing it here with you. If you knew nothing about Augie and his fight against ALS before, this video will tell you everything.
Speaking of great stories, Augie shared with me a meeting he just had with new 24 Hour Fitness CEO Mark Smith. Augie has been friends and business partners with Smith for more than 30 years, back to when Smith ran Town Sports International and Augie ran Life Fitness. Augie reached out to congratulate both Smith and new 24 Hour Fitness President Frank Napolitano on their new roles at 24 Hour, which just completed its acquisition of 32 Bally clubs. (Napolitano, you might recall, like Augie and several others in the industry was gracious enough to send us a tribute video for John McCarthy.)
Now chairman of Octane Fitness, Augie offered to give both 24 Hour executives an Octane Fitness Zero Runner as a gift, but Augie tells me they insisted on paying. Recently, Smith came by Augie's house for a two-hour visit that lasted three hours. Upon leaving, Augie tells me, Smith offered $50,000 for the Bash for Augie's Quest.
"It's one example of the fitness industry (both club owners and manufacturers) rallying around one of their own!" Augie wrote me in an email.
And it's another example of the holiday spirit. In this industry, that spirit extends to March 13 next year, when we'll celebrate the 10th (10th!) Bash for Augie's Quest at the IHRSA show in Los Angeles.