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The Washington Post to serve as media partner for National Press Club’s Help The Heroes campaign

The Washington Post to serve as media partner for National Press Club’s Help The Heroes campaign

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2020

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The National Press Club announced at a recent news conference that The Washington Post would serve as an official media partner for the Club’s Help The Heroes campaign, a program designed to help front line medical workers at Howard University Hospital and feed the fight against COVID-19 by providing hospital staff with nutritious take-home meals.

The Washington Post to serve as media partner for National Press Club’s Help The Heroes campaign
The Washington Post to serve as media partner for National Press Club’s Help The Heroes campaign

The Washington Post has pledged to contribute advertising support for the campaign, including a full-page ad that ran in today’s newspaper.

“Help The Heroes is all about neighbors helping neighbors in this time of need,” said National Press Club President Michael Freedman. “So we are grateful and honored to have the backing and support of The Washington Post – one of the most respected newspapers in the country and a pillar of the DC community.”

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, hospitals are preparing for a nightmare scenario this fall when flu patients and COVID-19 patients may swamp hospital wards. There is appropriate concern that this will exhaust the staff. “I worry the most about the ability of the workforce to step into the ring again. Adrenaline can only take you so far,” said Dr. Brandan Carr of Mount Sinai Hospital. 

Help The Heroes is funded by donations from corporations, foundations and non-profits. Donations for Help The Heroes go to the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club’s affiliated 501c-3. To learn more about Help The Heroes or to make a contribution, please visit: 

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is The World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists with more than 3,000 members. The Club speaks out on press freedom issues and annually recognizes journalists at risk at home and abroad with the John Aubuchon Award for Press Freedom.

PRESS CONTACT: Lindsay Underwood for the National Press Club;


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Gym members demand refunds after Fitness World rebrands, reopens some Steve Nash clubs

Frustrated fitness buffs are taking their gym to the mat, arguing B.C.-based Fitness World owes them a refund after their contracts were reassigned to new locations.

“They didn’t let us choose to stay with them,” said Fitness World member Cortez D’Alessandro, 20. “They just told us what’s happening.”

In March, the company — formerly known as Steve Nash Fitness World — shuttered all 24 of its locations, and terminated its staff, citing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Insolvency proceedings followed until June when Chris Smith, the CEO of both the new and old companies, worked with a group of investors to purchase the hard-hit fitness brand. Its new name is a throwback to the Fitness World chain of gyms that the Steve Nash organization purchased in 2009 to increase its reach. 

By July, members learned what it meant for their workouts. In an email, the company told patrons that their membership would be transferred over to Fitness World. The company’s footprint, however, had been reduced, with only 15 of the original 24 locations open. Further complicating matters, the company said it would cancel contracts, but only if clients visited a club in person.

“The biggest reason I was there, [was] because it was close by,” said D’Alessandro, whose Lougheed Highway location was among those permanently closed.

In a statement, Fitness World apologized to members, and said it has been doing its best to address concerns and “create a clear process” to meet their needs in a timely manner. The company also says members can call their preferred club to cancel with a manager, an option that wasn’t presented in previous member updates.

Fight for refunds

Whether members qualify for refunds, though, remains unclear.

Charlotte D’Alessandro, 50, has paid for Cortez’s gym membership since high school. She says she’s spent over a month trying to get her money back from Fitness World, including two charges from the company on the same day.

Steve Nash Sports Club signage can still be seen at Park Royal in North Vancouver. The business entered insolvency proceedings in April 2020 and has since been rebranded as Fitness World. (Christian Amundson/CBC)

“I’m not paying for something I didn’t agree to pay for,” said the mother, who says she visited three Fitness World locations, only to be told staff couldn’t rectify the situation.

“I don’t think we should be automatically new members of this new business,” she said “It’s very frustrating.”

Online outcry

That sense of frustration has sparked online outcry as well. A petition outlining members issues with Fitness World has captured more than 400 signatures.

Kiu Fazlali started a petition after Fitness World moved him to a cheaper location and failed to change his membership fees. (Christian Amundson/CBC)

“There’s no customer service,” said petition founder and former Fitness World member Kiu Fazlali, 20.

“They like to enforce their contracts but they don’t like to work with customers.”

Fazlali says his contract was moved from the company’s premium Park Royal location to the cheaper