Friday, April 15, 2011

BRLTA Gives Kids A Head Start at Boca Helping Hands Fitness & Nutrition Event

Talk about good for the heart. On Thursday, April 14, the fitness and nutrition team from Boca Raton Life Time Athletic, the area’s premier athletic facility, taught about 40 underprivileged kids the importance of physical fitness and proper nutrition through a fun, hands-on event at Boca Helping Hands, a community-based 501c3 organization that provides food an assistance programs to individuals, families and children. The kids, who ranged from 5 to 10 years old, literally ran off the school bus to attend the event, where they learned fun exercises and the benefits of a proper diet through exercise stations and question-and-answer seminars complete with fresh fruits and veggies.

“These children and families are at the mercy of the donated food they receive” said Jim Gavrilos, the Executive Director of Boca Helping Hands. “So we wanted to show the kids how to make the right decisions by exposing them to the knowledge and amazing personalities of the fitness staff at Life Time. You simply couldn’t buy this interaction, to have someone tell the children, ‘You’re important enough for me to spend time with’ It’s a great thing.”

(T) Tom Reeves, Pat Vitale, Jojo Nicholson, Tanya Oliver, Mia Gatzala, Jason Gann, Jim Gavrilos
(B) Chris LaRocca, Sherry Hoffman, Jay Stein, Gabe Gabrielsen

Despite the light drizzle, the children worked up a sweat for 7 to 8 minutes at each outdoor fitness station, where personal trainers had the kids lifting backpacks, doing dips, mountain climbers and jumping jacks, and, most importantly, laughing nonstop. Inside, fresh fruit and vegetables were served as nutritionists educated the kids on keeping hydrated, avoiding excess sugar and salt, and opting for whole foods over processed snacks.
“I don’t know what these kids have going on in their life, what they have to deal with at home,” says Jason Gann, PT Department Head at Life Time Athletic. “I do know that right now, in this moment, all I see are smiling faces. That’s what we wanted, to teach kids that fitness is fun and that you can use exercise as a form of stress relief rather than turning to drugs or alcohol. I have a feeling this is the beginning of many partnerships between Life Time Athletic and Boca Helping Hands.”
The mission of Boca Helping Hands is to provide compassionate service through food and assistance programs to individuals, families, and children to instill dignity and break the cycle of dependence. They feature hot meals six days a week, a resource center, job mentoring, and children’s assistance. For more information, visit

Life Time Athletic Boca Raton
1499 Yamato Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431


  1. Such a great organization for LTA to get involved with. What a success!

  2. so nice to see the charitable side of the trainers! Life Time is the best :)