For the first 12 days of December, Orangetheory Fitness members in Houston could get back at the trainers who whip them into shape: For every $1, Orangetheory trainers would complete one burpee, jump-squat, palm-to-elbow, pop jack, or 10-meter row.
But patrons weren't paying their trainer to demonstrate proper form—rather, all proceeds from the 12-day Torture the Trainer event went directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Texas Gulf Coast & Louisiana.
The 13 Orangetheory studios around Houston collectively raised $53,498 over the 12 days, enough to leave trainers feeling it the next day and, more importantly, to grant six wishes for local kids with life-threatening illnesses. On average, one Make-A-Wish fulfillment costs $8,900.
On December 16, Houston Orangetheory converged at the Sawyer Heights studio to torture—er, cheer on—their trainers and support the cause. Two of the six children who are now one wish richer were in attendance: Bennett, a 7-year-old boy with malignant neoplasm of the brain stem, and Matthew, a 13-year-old boy with systemic sclerosis.
Thanks to Torture the Trainer, Bennett will design his own Hot Wheels at the Mattel headquarters and Matthew will visit Nike in Portland, Oregon.
Moreover, 8-year-old Isabella with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and 3-year-old Tinsley with acute myeloblastic leukemia will meet princesses at Disney World; 5-year-old Charlie, who needs a kidney transplant, will head to Universal Studios to see Spider Man; and Rylee, a 13-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis, will get a new piano.
All told, Orangetheory more than doubled last year's donation, despite a turbulent year filled with tumult that spared few—Harvey be damned.
Happy New Year, Houston.