Girls soccer players from four area high schools have spent the last three weeks collecting donations for a women’s shelter in Chicago, and a local female-owned chain of gyms is cheering them on in the form of free workouts.
Every Sunday since Feb. 21, athletes from Whitney Young, Jones College Prep, Loyola Academy and Lyons Township in La Grange have descended on one of four Shred 415 locations to participate in hourlong interval training classes with their teammates. But instead of paying the usual $24 per class, they’re paying with items they’ve collected for women and children.
High school athletes from Lyons Township High School get in a free workout at Shred 415 in Hinsdale as part of a program that encourages students to collect donations for a women’s shelter in Chicago. (Christina Thornton)
“It was definitely part of our mission when we started Shred 415 to give back to the community and charities that are dear to our heart,” said Tracy Roemer, who co-founded the chain of gyms in 2011 with her longtime friend and workout partner Bonnie Micheli.
Sometime during the week of March 20, the high school girls will make a surprise donation to a shelter, where they’ll deliver all the items they’ve collected: hygiene products, clothing, toys and books for kids.
The public can contribute too, with each week devoted to a specific donation item. This week, through Sunday, all Shred 415 locations are accepting adult and children’s T-shirts and socks. Then Monday through March 19, people are encouraged to write feel-good notes that will be given to the women staying at the shelter.
Through war and peace, the life-changing power of female friendships
The high school girls are part of a nonprofit called Buddy’s Helpers, which encourages student athletes and coaches to participate in community service projects.
“Tracy and I both have daughters, so it’s really been fun for us to see younger girls taking the classes and getting excited about exercising and staying fit together,” Micheli said.
I think teen actress Moretz — who tweeted to Kardashian: “I truly hope you realize how important setting goals are for young women, teaching them we have so much more to offer than just our bodies” — would be proud of the girls’ efforts.
So am I.