Augie Nieto to Appear on Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon

LAS VEGAS -- Augie Nieto, founder of Life Fitness and the driving force behind Augie’s Quest, a research initiative to find a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), will appear on the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon this weekend in Las Vegas.

Nieto is scheduled to appear twice during the telethon on Monday. His appearance times (all Eastern Daylight Time) are from 1:10 a.m. to 2 a.m. and from 1:10 p.m. to 2 p.m. The second appearance will be followed by a profile of Nieto in the 2:20 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. time frame. Broadcast times vary in some areas.

John McCarthy, the former executive director of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), will join Nieto for his first appearance. McCarthy also serves as the chairman of the annual Bash for Augie’s Quest, which was held in March at the IHRSA show in San Diego. McCarthy will be presenting a check for $1.5 million, which was raised at the “Beach Bash” in March.

“It is one more example of the incredible support the fitness industry has shown Augie’s Quest,” Nieto said in an e-mail to Club Industry’s Fitness Business Pro.

This is the third year that Nieto has appeared on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. Last year, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov joined Nieto on the show. Nieto was diagnosed with ALS in 2005.

The telethon begins at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday and lasts until 6:30 p.m. EDT Monday.

In addition to the telethon, Bally Total Fitness has teamed with the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) to raise money on behalf of Augie’s Quest. Today, anyone can work out at a Bally club for a donation to the MDA of $1 or more. Also, all Bally clubs will host a special $20 group exercise class with the proceeds going to the MDA.

The Pussycat Dolls, who star in Bally’s summer advertising campaign, filmed a message on behalf of the fundraiser.

“Bally is a strong advocate for ALS awareness, and we are committed to helping Augie’s Quest fund research for a cure,” John Wildman, chief marketing officer of Bally Total Fitness, said in a statement. “Our national event on Aug. 28 gives everyone the power to make a difference with their workout.”

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