THE GYM Raises Over $21,000 for Harrington Park Based Homes for Veterans


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Englewood/Montvale, NJ - (February 11, 2020) - There is so much to be thankful for in our country, not the least of which are for those who have committed themselves in the military service of the United States of America. Homes for Veterans (HFV), founded in 2011, is a non-profit organization that specially adapts the homes for disabled veterans for free and is based in Harrington Park, New Jersey. THE GYM has been a regular and enthusiastic supporter of Homes for Veterans, raising over $85,000 since 2014. This year, over $21,000 was raised by THE GYM and its donors for the non- profit organization.

THE GYM’s values are a reflection of the drive and motivation of its fitness director, Juan Pla, who for the 2nd year in a row, sponsored a 25- hour training marathon in Montvale. Juan had 25 straight 1- hour training sessions, without rest or food, to benefit Homes For Veterans.

Juan wanted to do something special for Homes For Veterans last year. With his mother and father both confined to wheelchairs, and having just finished 12 straight hours of 1- hour sessions, and on his birthday, Juan came up with the idea of the 25 hour marathon training session. The 25- hour marathon was a great success for the 2nd year in a row with Juan raising over $8,350 for Homes For Veterans.

“I trained clientele for 25 straight hours in November of 2018 to raise money for Homes for Veterans, and when I was done, I didn’t think I could or would do it again. After visiting another family who benefited from the work of Homes for Veterans, I felt obligated to do it all over again, with pleasure,” said Juan.

THE GYM also sponsored its popular push-up contest at both GYM locations in Englewood and Montvale NJ. The push-up contests are always a favorite of supporters as well. Englewood trainer Michael Feeks did 215 push-ups to excite the crowd of onlookers in Englewood. Nurit Chasman, group fitness director, did 91 total push-ups at THE GYM Englewood, and trainer Travis Mach did 77 push-ups in one minute at THE GYM in Montvale.

Other fundraising activities included a special dance class in Englewood where instructors donated their time. T-shirts in honor of Homes For Veterans were sold at both locations. In addition, Montvale had a vendor fair and Englewood had a trunk show.

“We look forward every year for this physical challenge to support our Veterans who have done so much for our country. This is our small way of giving back and honoring our local Bergen County Veterans” said Ms. Chasman.

This year, HFV’s initiatives included building access to a bathroom and kitchen for Marine Maritza Melendez. Maritza knew she wanted to be a Marine the moment she met the recruiters in high school, and signed up at the age of 18. Maritza had training as an aviation and field wireman and martial arts instructor. Melendez sustained severe injuries to her wrist, rotator cuff and lower back and is now confined to a wheelchair. HFV wanted to help Maritza by redoing her bathroom entrance and also kitchen so she could access these parts of her house with the wheelchair.

“We can never thank the owners of THE GYM and staff enough for the tremendous effort they put into this fundraiser. They raised so much money for our veterans and we are honored they donated it to us at Homes for Veterans. A special shout out of thanks to Juan Pla and his very successful training marathon,” said Doug DiPaola, President/CEO, Homes For Veterans.

In 2020, THE GYM will be dedicating their fundraising efforts on behalf of Homes For Veterans to Andy Nubile of Waldwick, NJ who recently passed away. At the 2017 fundraiser money was raised to install a ramp in Andy’s house and then he helped raise funds during the 2018 fundraiser at the Montvale push-up contest. He served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 and served most of his tour in Germany building pontoon bridges.

About Homes For Veterans

Homes For Veterans is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to adapt the homes of disabled veterans to make them handicap accessible and barrier free. Based in Harrington Park, New Jersey, Homes For Veterans helps disabled veterans who are unable to secure the necessary resources to modify their homes to accommodate their disabilities.


THE GYM is a complete lifestyle and fitness center, designed to promote healthy living in a first class atmosphere. The extensive schedule of Group Fitness Classes includes Barre, Pilates, Video Spin, Yoga, Cross Conditioning and more - all of which are unlimited to members and included with membership. The staff's attentive service and the facility's array of programs and services provide guests with an unparalleled experience. Its unique approach integrates specialized training programs with member hospitality in an immaculate atmosphere. THE GYM is known for its superior quality equipment, expert staff and special amenities, including a juice bar, spa and complimentary child care.

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