Atlantic County Student Teaching Fitness Class to Help Give Back

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Each year, Highland Academy in Absecon requires their students to do a charity project during the holiday season. This year, one of their fifth graders has decided to take his passion for exercise and health, and use it to give back to his community.

“It first started at school," said 5th grader, Max Collazo. "I had to do this project, my whole class, where we had to do some community service project. And pretty much I was like, OK, what should I do? Well, my dad owns a gym, so I could take advantage of that.”

“I was very proud of him because he initiated, he thought it out, and he wanted help," said Max's father, Myke Collazo. "So, my wife and I got together and we gave him a few ideas.”

The idea that came to fruition combined Max’s love for being active whether he’s training with his dad at the gym or working out at Jersey Shore Gymnastics, with a toy drive.

“If you donate a toy, then you get to come work out here as a little reward," said Max.

The 10-year-old gymnast will be leading two classes at Anytime Fitness in Mays Landing and Galloway on Saturday, December 8th, and Sunday, December 9th. Max described his planned workouts as not too hard, but just hard enough. Collazo said that they will definitely be family- and beginner-friendly.

“We’re hoping to get families to come out," said Collazo. "Number one, [to] collect a lot of toys for families in our community, but also to teach the kids that are going to come out, we have kids from Highland Academy that are going to come out, the importance of giving back. So many of them kids in our families are blessed. To be able to bless others, I think that truly is the blessing.”

“Kids that are less fortunate than people like us, that pretty much don’t get toys as often, don’t get video games like I do, we’re giving the toys to them so they have something to play with," said Max. 

Collazo said they have at least 50 toys donated already with a goal of about 100 to give to the local non-profit, Robin’s Nest.

“I think it’s important during this time of year for us to come together and more importantly, I think it’s important to celebrate life," said Collazo." It’s so precious and just being able to share this with my son, I think it’s the most important thing to me.”

All community members are welcome to join in on Max’s workout classes on December 8th or 9th. If you can’t make a class, you’re also able to just make a donation at any one of the three Anytime Fitness locations throughout Atlantic County.


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