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Algonquin gym participating in 'Australia Day' fundraiser for bushfire relief efforts

Firefighters battle the Morton Fire as it burns a home Thursday near Bundanoon in New South Wales, Australia.
Firefighters battle the Morton Fire as it burns a home Thursday near Bundanoon in New South Wales, Australia.

An Algonquin gym is one of many across Illinois asking its customers to work out for charity: to aid the victims of the Australian bushfires.

Staff with Orangetheory Fitness studios of Illinois have organized a statewide Australia Day fundraising campaign Sunday for bushfire disaster relief programs. The company’s “Make It Rain for Australia” fundraiser includes charity workouts at several studio locations across Illinois – including the Algonquin gym at 1624 S. Randall Road – and a social media fundraising campaign that company owners said “will rain money and set an intention for more rain in Australia.”

Months of intense drought and record-shattering temperatures have conspired in Australia, leading to the outbreak of a series of fires that have devastated swaths of the country. Some experts fear that certain animal species may never recover. In addition to habitat destruction, homes and sections of vineyards have been wiped out.

More than 50 Orangetheory Fitness gyms are asking their 40,000 members to donate money on Australia Day for The Bushfire Foundation in Melbourne. 

“As Australia copes with this growing disaster, we were inspired to take our Australia Day efforts to the next level and support our friends across the pond,” said Brad Ehrlich, owner and CEO of Orangetheory Fitness Illinois.

Charity workouts mean members and their guests may make a donation to the relief efforts. Members may register at the Algonquin studio. The gyms also are promoting a social media fundraiser through GoFundMe, which company officials said was created by its Melbourne studio. They hope to raise $100,000 in online donations. 

“We are continually amazed and grateful for our members who give so much to others, and we are all ready to rally for Australia on Jan. 26,” Ehrlich said in a news release. 

For information, follow Orangetheory Fitness on Instagram @OrangetheoryIL or visit www.orangetheoryfitness.com.

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