Fitness Startup, Iron Tribe Fitness, Raises $500,000 For Charities

By performing air squats, kettlebell swings, lunges and presses, Iron Tribe Fitness athletes have raised more than $500,000

10-October-2013 - By performing air squats, kettlebell swings, lunges and presses, Iron Tribe Fitness athletes have raised more than $500,000 for clean water wells and military veterans in the company's first three years of operation.

Iron Tribe Fitness is the fastest growing group fitness franchise in the country. Since opening the doors of the first gym in 2010, CEO and founder Forrest Walden and COO Jim Cavale have led Iron Tribe Fitness athletes in fundraising for two important organizations: Neverthirst, a non-profit that builds clean water wells in the poorest regions of the world, and Team Red, White and Blue (RWB), whose mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.

This amount given back to charity in three short years is an outlier in the fitness industry and reflects unique core values at Iron Tribe. Iron Tribe Fitness hosts annual Workout of the Day (WOD) fundraisers for each organization. The most recent event, "Workout for Water," raised more than $207,000 for Neverthirst.

On the rainy morning of September 21, 150 athletes broke into teams of five and participated in a workout meant to mirror the journey village residents must make to carry and fill their jugs with water. The money raised this year will build 81 wells in India through Neverthirst. See the video here -

"When I started Iron Tribe Fitness, I wanted to connect the passionate athletes and Neverthirst," said Walden, who has seen the need for these wells in countries like Haiti, Honduras, Sudan and India. "More than 800 million people around the world don’t have access to clean water. The organization serves people in remote villages through local churches by building clean water wells. It platforms the church’s ministry and gives people access to clean water which changes the whole dynamic of the village."

Last year, "WOD for Water" raised $100,000, which built 40 wells in India. Walden recently led a team of Iron Tribe athletes to India to see the wells built with those funds and experience the impact of those dollars at work. "It was amazing to make this connection and see how these villages were impacted," Walden said. Neverthirst is already planning its next WOD for Water event in Nashville, TN on October 26.

Iron Tribe athletes are also passionate about American veterans. Iron Tribe Fitness actually created "WOD for Warriors," a national fundraising event for Team RWB.

"WOD for Warriors" denotes the fact that the workouts are done on behalf of our nation’s fighting forces, past, present, and future. "WOD for Warriors" is now the Functional Fitness (FF) branch of Team RWB. It is a nation-wide program, which was created to help build local communities around the power of functional fitness – a multi-disciplinary style of exercise that focuses on training for real-life activities.

The relationship between Iron Tribe and Team RWB came from coincidence that ITF’s Jim Cavale, and Team RWB Founder, Mike Erwin, were high school classmates.

"It was clear early on that our organizations shared many of the same values and goals," Cavale said. "We both believe firmly in the power of community and commitment. Strong bonds are formed at an Iron Tribe gym, just as they are within a Team RWB chapter."

"WOD for Warriors" raised $30,000 for Team RWB the first year and $60,000 the following year. This funding is critical to the organization’s ability to deliver great programs across the state of Alabama.

"Our effort to fundraise for these two organizations is only going to keep growing," Cavale said. "We have 19 gyms open now and we plan to have 80 open throughout the country by this time next year. This always comes back to the generous heart of the community of the Iron Tribe people connecting with what Neverthirst is doing around the world and what Team RWB is doing for our veterans here at home."

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