333 Fitness Warehouse hosting student membership fundraiser

333 Fitness Warehouse hosting student membership fundraiser
Justin Smith

On Feb. 4 between 4 a.m. and midnight, the workout area at 333 Fitness Warehouse will be a beehive of activity as student-athletes and others raise money to provide free memberships for area student-athletes.


On Feb. 4 between the hours of 4 a.m. and midnight, the workout area at 333 Fitness Warehouse west of Millersburg on state Route 39 will be humming with more activity than usual.

That’s because a slew of high school athletes and other workout enthusiasts will be hard at work doing the Jason Shultz workout challenge to raise money for the greater good.

In this case the greater good is to create a fund that will provide area high school and collegiate athletes with free memberships to train at the facility.

Shultz had a passion for working with youth prior to his passing in an accident on Sept. 1, 2020, and last year John Miller, one of 333’s instructors, raised money with a 24-hour effort in which he crushed through the Shultz work-out plan, which consists of seven different challenges.

While 333 had been using funds to provide free memberships for West Holmes students last year, those funds are no longer available, so the idea of creating a fundraiser featuring the Shultz Challenge was born.

“This all started because we wanted to honor Jason Shultz and support our local high school athletes,” said Tara Martin, manager at 333 Fitness Warehouse. “Jason was so passionate about providing for our young athletes. He worked hard coaching them and presenting classes and programs with them. When we lost him, John wanted to honor him by doing the program the best he could.”

Martin said many high school athletes struggle to find the funds for a membership, and by creating a fundraiser, the hope is they can provide money to any area athlete who wants to get into shape to enhance whatever sport they play.

The origin of the student-athlete membership came from Ellie Ramseyer, owner of Ellie’s Yoga & Wellness Studio, which is next to 333. Martin said Ramseyer was emphatic that they create opportunities to help student-athletes develop physically, and she didn’t want funds to stand in the way of their ability to do so.

There are currently over 40 student-athletes from West Holmes High School who are utilizing 333’s facilities on free memberships. Martin said the goal is to open that opportunity to even more young people from other schools, like Hiland, Triway, Waynedale and others.

“With the funds coming directly from us, we can open this to any student-athlete from any school, where we can provide quality instructions from knowledgeable instructors and they can work in a safe environment,” Martin said. “This is all about our kids and providing something special for them. We see these student-athletes working hard and striving to be their best in their respective sports, and we are proud of their willingness to give so much in pursuit of excellence. Our hope is to train them to get to an even higher level, without having them to have to fund that themselves.”

To develop the student membership fund, many local high school athletes are signed up to find sponsors who will help support their effort to perform the Shultz workout as many times as possible on Feb. 4.

Martin said participants can come in during any time slots throughout the day and evening to get in as many reps as possible. The participants will scour the community, friends, family and others to get as much support as possible.

“Having them participate gives them ownership and an investment in the project,” Martin said. “They must raise the funds, then they have to contact donors and collect the funds, so they are making that investment. It’s a good learning opportunity about generating ownership and responsibility.”

Martin said 333 will provide water and snacks for the event for participants, and the day should be a bonding experience for participants.

Martin said the free student memberships will go on for as long as the fund lasts, at which point they will invest in another endeavor to raise more funds. How long that fund lasts initially will be determined solely by how successful the athletes are in this first endeavor.

“Our goal is to keep these student memberships at zero cost to the kids forever,” Martin said.

The event is open to any student-athlete, and Martin said they have encouraged entire teams to get together and join the challenge.

While built around youth, anyone with a passion to work out or support the students in the area can participate. Martin said a one-time donation of $25 will get anyone who wishes to participate into the gym that day.

She also said they understand those participating won’t canvas everyone in the community, and those who wish to give who weren’t contacted may give by calling Martin at 330-988-3734.

“We all have a passion for our young athletes and local sports,” Martin said. “We know we share that passion with many others throughout the community. If we can help generate the types of memories I developed as an athlete in high school, I want to do that because we want our student-athletes taking their game to the next level, and exercise is pivotal for every person.”

Each membership includes not just the workout equipment, but also yoga classes, spinning, cardio classes and more. Donations may be made on a per-round basis or at a flat-fee rate.

Ellie’s Yoga & Wellness Studio and 333 Fitness are located at 5567 County Road 333, west of Millersburg. For updates and live feeds, people can follow the progress of the event on Facebook or Instagram.

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