Brownstown Rotary member, Char Haener, spoke to us about the collaborative effort of her club and other Rotary clubs in the area to create a gym for veterans and first responders who have served our country at no charge. Char is the gym’s Executive Director. Staff members are all volunteers, she said. The organization boasts of over 2,000 members who go to the gym to exercise, enjoy peer support and helps vets suffering from PTSD.
The gym is open to outsiders for a nominal fee and a banquet hall on the site helps to provide revenue throughout the year to help offset operational costs of the gym. The last piece of the puzzle is connection, not only with peers but the community. Transitioning back to civilian life presents a number of challenges, particularly with PTSD, Char said. Interacting with other gym members during workout and socializing in a comfortable setting eases the process. All too often, PTSD leads to isolation and depression. The gym offers a safe haven to promote a healthy lifestyle!
Char mentioned that improvements are still being made to the facility. The heating system is in and functioning but the AC has yet to be installed. They have and will continue to apply for grants to assist them with necessary building improvements in the months to come. Char said that her goal is to see a gym for veterans in ec=very state.