Beacon Hill Ahtletic Clubs
The Beacon Hill Athletic Club Charitable Foundation is the first health club-based public charity in the world. A registered 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, it was established in 1993 by the clubs’ co-owners, David Ilan Weis and Jason Klein in order to raise the philanthropic consciousness of the BHAC's members and to promote grass-roots charitable programs.
The Foundation got off with a bang in the early to mid-90’s when it embarked on a monumental effort during the Balkan war in Bosnia and Croatia. Struck by the senseless slaughter of civilians and the misery of so many children, the clubs’ owners initiated the “Bosnia-to-Boston Airlift,” an initially miniscule project that grew over the years, culminating in the eventual rescue of 13 Balkan civilians to Boston for free medical care. With the assistance of many club members, the United Nation High Commission for Refugees, the Internation Organization for Migration, Boston-area hospitals and the greater Boston community, the BHAC Charitable Foundation secured years’ worth of food, housing, translators, travel and ancillary costs for all these unfortunate refugees. Some resettled here in the States, some returned to their homeland after the war, and one child, Ivo Vilusic, unfortunately succumbed to his injuries despite the incredibly valiant efforts of the talented medical staff at the Shriners Burn Center in Boston.
As the airlift got up to speed, it turned out that no other organization had embarked on such a monumental task. The club's efforts ended up garnering significant local, national and even international media attention, eventually earning a full slot on NBC's Nightly News and a segment on CNN, both of which appeared around the world.
After the war’s official end the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina remained critical, so the BHACCF turned its attention to assisting those in need overseas, arranging for teams of paramedics to travel to desolated areas, and securing a donated ambulance and its free transportation to Mostar, a small town in Bosnia. The Foundation helped support an orphanage in Mostar for years, and helped arrange a summer basketball camp for children.
On a more local level, the BHAC Charitable Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for such organizations as Easter Seals, Children’s Hospital, the Lenny Fund, the AJWS Tsunami Fund, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Ronald McDonald Charities, the 911 Victims Fund, the Home for Little Wanderers, and many other charities. Our annual Fitness Challenge raised a record $13,000 this year alone for our deserving friends at the Special Olympics of Massachusetts.
At the BHAC, we feel it's important to give back. We strive to be more than a health club; more than just a place to work out. We try to encourage our members to get involved, to think about the world around them, and to understand that each of them is so much more fortunate than so many more people. We believe deeply that philanthropy is a two-way street; that it is a rewarding, fulfilling effort for all parties involved, and we try to be the vehicle through which more people can get involved.
We encourage our members to get involved in as many of our fund raising endeavors as they wish, and we greatly appreciate everyone who add to their dues and thereby contributes monthly through our automatic deduction plan. It is through our members’ support that the Charitable Foundation has been so effective, and we’re constantly striving to further our success.
For more information, email Robyn: firstname.lastname@example.org
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