Madison Gyms Band Together for Charity Fitness Week

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A number of gyms in Madison, Wis., are coming together to raise money for the United Way by opening their facilities to the public in exchange for a donation.

According the, the inaugural Madison Fitness Week runs through Sunday. Participants can make a $15 donation in order to gain access to classes and facilities for the whole week at more than 20 different Madison gyms and fitness boutiques.

Organizers said the event was aimed not only at raising money for those in need but also to help people get into shape.

"That's the idea, to get people in to see what you would be spending your money on or what the classes are like; to let that wall down of that scary 'walking into the gym for the first time' feeling, and making people feel comfortable and welcome," said Madison Fitness Week founder Kellian Kiron.

More than 350 people have signed up for the event, which will conclude with a boot-camp-style class at a local outdoor venue on Sunday morning.

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