XENIA — Corey Jackowski thought he was tuning into a Zoom video conference meeting to talk with a fitness trainer.
But when he noticed dozens of others, the owner of Snap Fitness in Xenia thought something was up.
And something was.
Kelly Pellettiere, a member of Snap Fitness who teachers boot camps a couple nights a week, had organized a GoFundMe drive to help raise money for Jackowski, who had to close his fitness center due to the COVID-19 restrictions. She shared that surprise with him during the Zoom meeting. In about 24 hours they raised the goal of $2,500 and to date have raised more than $4,000.
According to Jackowski, the GoFundMe campaign and private donations from participating gym members have raised approximately $7,000 so far.
“Between the GoFundMe page that Kelly, Abby (Camarato) and Taylor (Trimble) started, and multiple gym members, family and friends who have donated just ungodly amounts of money that I would’ve never imagined, … and if it wasn’t for those individuals, and the individuals who reached out to me and requested that their memberships continue despite me being closed down, those acts alone are why I’m still in business right now,” Jackowski said.
Pellettiere said the Zoom presentation was quite emotional.
“Oh man, you can’t really explain it,” Pellettiere said. “Once I pulled up the GoFundMe and did the screen share … he really broke down in tears of joy. Completely blown away by what everybody had done. It was a pretty emotional few minutes.”
Pellettiere came up with the idea as a way of giving back to Jackowski, who she called “an amazing person and good friend.”
Jackowski had suspended membership payments for April to try to help members who may be out of work or on limited hours, Pellettiere said, adding that some chose to continue paying.
“I was talking with some of the other members and we were trying to figure out what we can do to help on a bigger scale,” she said. “He’s just a giving person.”
After investigating how GoFundMe works, she put the fundraiser in motion
“We wanted to try and keep it private between the members,” Pellettiere said. “Having the members giving back to Corey. We were just trying to support him through. We knew this was going to be two or three weeks. It was amazing the outpouring of love. It showed the good things that we can see coming out of this.”
Jackowski says the outpouring of kindness and generosity is something he will never forget.
“I was telling my girlfriend this just the other day: No matter what happens, I’m only 27 and these are the best times of my life. No matter what is currently happening in the world, and no matter that this business is temporarily closed down at the moment, but just between my family and friends, and the members supporting this gym, they’ve made it all worth it for me. … Just knowing that people care, makes it all worth it, no matter where this goes,” he said.
Snap Fitness is located at 1822 West Park Square, in Xenia.
Reach Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507. Reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444 ext. 2123. Anyone can donate to the GoFundMe page at: www.gofundme.com/f/snap-fitness-xenia-support-fund .