Gyms across the state raising money to benefit victims of Australian fires


JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Gyms across the state are coming together to help raise money for those affected by the fires in Australia.

“Even though we’re a world away, we’re not really that far apart,” says Niki Brzoza, who helped organize the ‘Fight Fires with Fitness’ campaign.

The images are haunting, as people and animals alike are rescued from the Australia bush fires.

They were enough to cause Brzoza and her friend to take action, thousands of miles away.

“I have some really good friends that live over there, but I also feel like we see everything on the news and you kind of sit there and go, ‘What can I do? Can I even make an impact?’ So that’s where I feel like coming together, everybody feels like, doing just a little bit altogether, can make such an impact,” she said.

The two reached out to local gyms, thinking the love for fitness, combined with a good deed, would be the perfect combo.

And it was. Six gyms joined the effort, offering free classes and training to anyone willing to make a donation.

Enerje Fitness owner Eddie Fleury offered three different classes Saturday to anyone, gym members or not.

“It’s just a no-brainer to help the people in Australia,” Fleury says. “The money that we make in class today, that’s what we’re going to donate and I’m also going to match that price and then we’re also asking for people to bring donations so if we can help out, then that’s fantastic.”

At Enerje, a collection boot was overflowing with the donations collected. Brzoza is encouraging the gyms to send the donations to the Australian Red Cross and Wires Wildlife Rescue.

The fitness classes with a purpose continue next weekend with different locations across the state.

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