Cutting Edge offers free fitness

FAIRMONT — Cutting Edge Fitness in Fairmont, located at 1130 Spruce St., recently put out a statement through Community Education and Recreation that it will offer 25 free annual memberships to low-income students or families in Martin County.

Community Ed has been asked to coordinate referrals throughout the schools in Martin County.

C.J. Johnson, owner and director of Cutting Edge Fitness, explained why he decided to offer the free memberships.

“We get a lot of calls wondering if we have a low-income rate,” he said. “We felt like it’s needed in the community. Different YMCAs in different towns offer something like this so we wanted to pursue the opportunity as well and donate some memberships to Fairmont and the surrounding communities.”

CER director Roni Dauer sent out a notice to area schools in Martin County soon after Christmas break. In the email, Dauer asks school principals and social workers to recommend a person or family to receive a free membership. She noted that confidentiality will be respected.

A statement from the business reads, “Cutting Edge Fitness recognizes that not every student in Martin County has the opportunity to utilize our gym in order to stay active and healthy, due to many different circumstances, finances being one of them. Cutting Edge hopes that this will assist in getting families out enjoying time together and staying healthy.”

At Fairmont Area Schools, about 43 percent of all students qualify for free and reduced lunch. The numbers are similar at other school districts in Martin County. With so many families not being able to afford school lunches, it is likely that a gym membership is probably not a priority in many households.

An individual annual student membership at Cutting Edge Fitness is valued at $484, while a family one-year membership costs $704.

In addition to Cutting Edge Fitness, there are two other fitness centers in Fairmont. The proposed community center would add another competitor to the mix.

“I’ve been pretty involved with the whole community center proposal because of the threat it poses toward my business,” said Johnson, explaining that he was at the public meeting about the community center in November. “A few people at the public meeting talked about how no one offers anything for low-income families and that was really our deciding factor on doing this. It opened our eyes to the benefit that it would have for our community.”

Those who believe they know someone who would qualify and benefit from the opportunity being offered by Cutting Edge may contact Fairmont CER at (507) 235-3141.

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