Congratulations to Pat Laus, owner and founder of The Atlantic Clubs in Manasquan and Red Bank, N.J., on receiving the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association's Outstanding Community Service Award.
Laus founded Clubs for the Cure in 2006 as a fundraising platform to help fight breast cancer, and within six months her team of Atlantic Clubs members and staff, as well as individuals within the local community, produced the largest donation in the 12-year history of The Avon Foundation 2 Day Walk for Breast Cancer. Within three years, the total amount donated would exceed $1 million.
In 2008, Clubs for the Cure joined forces with fitness pioneer and Life Fitness cofounder Augie Nieto to assist in his personal battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Clubs for the Cure/Augie's Quest united more than 1,000 health and fitness clubs through The Power of One campaign, designed to encourage clubs to take one day and host one event for one hour to help one man raise ALS research funds. To date, the collective effort has contributed more than $2.5 million toward the $22 million plus raised by Augie's Quest Cure ALS.
IHRSA president Joe Moore describes Laus as a true visionary and leader, adding that she represents within the fitness industry "a role model that all can follow in making a difference in and beyond their community."
In fact, Laus credits participation in a management-development program focused on self-expression and leadership as her community service catalyst. "My experience with this program was life-changing," Laus says. "It expanded my vision to do more than I previously thought possible."