Fitness Room Remodel Merges with Foundation’s Community Connections

Club members and employees, and a local high school, all benefit

Pictured Above: Front: Quincy Chance and Ashleigh de Villiers (De La Salle), Mary Turina (MAC/MAF) Back: Oscar Leong (De La Salle), Charles Leverton (MAC), Scott Dougherty (MAF)

An interesting thing about change is the dynamics it sets in motion, and the ripple effect it creates. Take for example the recent remodel of MAC’s Exercise and Conditioning Room, now known as the Fitness Room. To make way for new state- of-the art equipment, older equipment needed a new home.

When discussing the project, members of the Fitness Room Remodel Committee and Fitness staff asked a key question: “How can we put the equipment that’s being replaced – all of it high quality with plenty of life left – to good use?” The answers took on a dynamic shape.

To begin, MAC held two auctions, where both members and staff had the opportu- nity to bid on the equipment. According to Fitness and Wellness Manager Will Cath, and Personal Training Coordinator Andy Shupp, the auctions were a success, and the proceeds went directly into the Emergency Employee Assistance Fund (EEAF, which was started during the pandemic) and are held in reserve for future club projects.

After the auctions, the Multnomah Athletic Foundation (MAF) offered the remaining equipment to its community grant partners. Six nonprofits received equipment that suited their needs. For grant partner De La Salle North Catholic High School, the equipment’s availability coincided with the construction of its new campus, currently underway in Northeast Portland, which includes a new gym. “The school received approximately 25 pieces of well-maintained cardio equipment, weight stack machines, and free weights that will last several years,” says Shupp, who along with his team, helped coordinate and distribute the pieces.

The donation highlights the role MAF plays in building bridges that extend into the greater community. Oscar Leong, De La Salle High School’s president, agrees. “This generous donation came at exactly the right time — it was almost magical the way things happened. This is something we had not thought was possible. Our fund- raising efforts for the new campus did not cover costs for workout equipment, and MAF’s timely donation allows us to provide our kids with an equitable space.”

Leong also stresses that the new gym not only benefits De La Salle’s student athletes, but the entire student body. “Most of our youths have never experienced a fitness environment like the one we are building. A space of this caliber, complete with high- quality machines, will introduce a whole generation of kids to health and wellness practices they can take with them into adulthood,” Leong explains.

As someone involved with purchasing the original equipment, Cath is thrilled it will remain useful and contribute to De La Salle students’ well-being, and offers another insightful observation: “The club took a creative approach to contribut-
ing resources to the community. Not only did it turn out well, it expanded the club’s sphere of influence,” says Cath. “One could even ask why stop at equipment? Whether its resources, professional skills, or social connections, MAC members have so much to offer the community at large.”

De La Salle students will start the school year at their new campus, so look for a November update on their reaction to and experience in the new gym, along with photos from its new weight room.

Written by Laurie Harquail

Originally published in the September 2021 issue of The Winged M Magazine.