Members upset as Inspira plans to close fitness centers in southern New Jersey

Members upset as Inspira plans to close fitness centers in southern New Jersey

Longtime members of a gym in southern New Jersey are desperately hoping the hospital system that owns it will rethink their decision to close it down.

They say the place is more than just a fitness center, it’s a home away from home and their connection to so many friends.

One man, Leon Williams, suffered two bouts of throat cancer that took a lot away from him, and now he is losing his fitness center in Vineland, NJ.

“It was something normal for him. He was around people. The instructors are great. Everybody treats him like anyone else,” his wife Debbie said.

The Inspira Health System in Cumberland County owns the fitness center and they recently sent members a letter saying that this location and their smaller Bridgeton and Elmer locations will be closing at the end of June.

“We are emotional about it because we have developed relationships,” gym member Kathy Trovarelli told NBC10.

Judith Augustus has been a member for 13 years. She told NBC10, “The camaraderie is missing. People come here it’s not just about staying physically fit but the emotional part is needed, the connection. Some people have nothing else and no one else.”

In a statement, Inspira says they understand why their members are upset and they say they will be bringing in other local fitness centers to offer services to the soon-to-be displaced members.

Some of those members held a rally on Friday, but they say some people were likely scared away by a pretty sizeable showing of Inspira security employees and the fact that the gym was closed today because of the rally.

The members are sad but fired up.

“it is disgraceful and it’s disgusting,” Trovarelli said.

The group is hoping that Inspira will have a change of heart, or at least rethink their business plan, and keep this gym open.

“When these organizations look at numbers they don’t comprehend or want to comprehend the stories behind those numbers,” yoga teacher Ahmad Graves-El said.

Related Articles