In celebration of MLS Cup being played in Columbus on Saturday night, MLS WORKS – Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform – and Columbus Crew SC today unveiled a reimagined fitness room at the Ronald McDonald House Columbus.
Former MLS Cup Champion and MLS Great Frankie Hejduk, along with Crew Cat (Crew SC’s club mascot), were onsite to surprise two families staying at the facility. The special moment also featured virtual greetings by Crew stars Gyasi Zardes in addition to the team’s Chief Business Officer and EVP, Steve Lyons.
The transformation of the fitness room includes $10,000 worth of workout equipment – courtesy of MLS and Crew community partner AT&T – as well as new towels, water bottles and a sanitation station. A state-of-the-art video monitor and sound system was also installed to run club fitness and mental wellness videos from the Ronald McDonald House app. The facility also features a vibrant Columbus Crew SC-inspired mural by local artist Hakim Callwood.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the support of the Columbus Crew SC and MLS,” said Dee Anders, CEO and Executive Director of RMHC of Central Ohio. “We rely on the generous support of our partners in the community, and the Crew is truly one of the very best. This room will allow our guests to stay fit while they are with us at the Ronald McDonald House, and will provide a healthy outlet for the thousands of people who stay with us each year.”
As part of “Fitness Fridays,” the Crew will facilitate weekly virtual training classes and programming on the app followed by complementary healthy lunches. Free lunches were also provided today to all families at the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio by Crew Cat.
“Major League Soccer is proud to join forces with Columbus Crew SC to provide additional levels of support to patients and their families who are staying at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House,” said JoAnn Neale, MLS President & Chief Administrative Officer. “On behalf of our 25th MLS Cup, our commitment to positively impacting the communities where we play our games continues despite these challenging times. We hope the enhancements to the fitness room will help improve the health and well-being of the families staying at the facility.”
Benefiting more than 4,500 families annually, the Columbus facility is one of the largest Ronald McDonald Houses in the world and provides a home-away-from-home for families who have children that are being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals. The reimagination of the room at the Columbus facility continues both the League and Crew SC’s longstanding commitment to making a positive impact and keeping children active, healthy, and engaged.
“The Columbus Crew SC is dedicated to making a positive impact in our community. As a part of our hosting the 25th MLS Cup in Columbus, we are excited to partner with MLS Works and AT&T on the Ronald McDonald House Fitness Room Renovation,” said Crew SC Executive Vice President & Chief Business Officer Steve Lyons. “In support of the Ronald McDonald House’s mission to keep families close during their time of need, the Crew’s Fitness Room Renovation will provide a space for families to enjoy during their stay while promoting healthy and positive lifestyles to our young people. On behalf of the Haslam & Edwards Families, the Crew is proud to provide this MLS Cup legacy gift to our community.”
MLS’ 25th season will culminate with MLS Cup 2020 on Saturday, Dec. 12 when Columbus Crew SC meets Seattle Sounders FC at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus on FOX, UniMás//TUDN, TSN and TVA Sports, starting with the pregame show at 8 p.m. ET.