By Amanda Hatfield
BREVARD -- Each new year, many resolve to get in shape and extend a helping hand to those in need.
On Saturday, Feb. 16, Elite Fitness Centers -- located in Palm Bay -- will be hosting its first-ever Tots to Teens 5K. This community charity event will be held at Palm Bay Regional Park in the Boy Scout Pavilion.
"The 5K will begin at 9 a.m., with pre-registration going on now until the day of the event," said Matt Carver, marketing director for Elite Fitness Centers.
Although the gym has participated in many community events, including Relay for Life, Elite Fitness Centers is happy to finally be hosting its very own charity event.
"There have been a number of causes that we felt were deserving of support," Mr. Carver said. "One charity we're working with is the ABC Triplets."
Two members of the Palm Bay Police force were recently blessed with triplets. Sadly, the babies -- Aiden, Brett and Colton -- were born three months premature; each day they face is a struggle for their tiny bodies.
"The proceeds we raise in the Tots to Teens 5K will go toward the ABC Triplets medical expenses," Mr. Carver said.
But Elite Fitness Centers' helping hand reaches beyond the tiny tots.
"There have been a number of people in our community that made us aware of Taylor 4 Teens," Mr. Carver said.
On Sept. 26, 2010, Melbourne High School freshman Taylor King took her own life.
According to www.taylorrenaeking.com, a website launched in her memory, the beautiful young lady "was always smiling and never gave any of her family any indication that she was suffering in any way."
Taylor 4 Teens was founded in Taylor's memory, and the group dedicates its efforts to the awareness and support of teens that are facing adversity.
"Sadly, in today's world, tragic things like this happen daily," Mr. Carver said. "Elite Fitness Centers wants to put an end to our youth's suffering."
In order to raise awareness and gain help from the community, Elite Fitness Centers is looking forward to hosting the community event.
The 3.1-mile trek is for all ages and fitness levels.
"We encourage anyone who wants to participate to come out," said Mr. Carver. "It doesn't matter if you want to run or walk!"
All funds raised during the event will be evenly split and donated to the ABC Triplets and Taylor 4 Teens organizations.
"If all goes well, Elite Fitness Centers will definitely continue to hold this annual event, helping those most in need in our community," Mr. Carver said.
Those interested in participating are required to complete a registration form at Elite Fitness Centers or online at http://taylor4teens.org/donate.html.
The pre-registration cost is $20; registration the day of the event is $25. Elite Fitness members and city of Palm Bay employees will pay $15. Participants 11 and younger can be registered with a donation.
"If people want to help, but can't make it out to the 5K, they can donate online," Mr. Carver said. "Businesses interested in helping are encouraged to donate prizes for our top finishers."
"Helping our community is extremely important to Elite Fitness Centers," added Mr. Carver. "The Tots to Teens 5K is the perfect opportunity to do so."
For more information, visit Elite Fitness Centers at 280 Corporate Way in Palm Bay, or call (321) 676-1002 and ask for Alexandra Capato.
Visit http://www.taylor4teens.org/Donate.html or www.elitefitnesscenters.com for more information.