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Get Fit Team Rallies For LLS ‘Big Climb’
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Stanislaus Consolidated firefighters, from left, Joel McGaffee, Zach Gardner and Jeremy Tankersly were on hand Saturday, March 2 to help with the Heat, a fundraiser hosted by Get Fit Oakdale in support of members participating in The Big Climb in Seattle, Washington later this month.

A combined number of Get Fit Oakdale trainers, members, community residents as well as owners Bear and Allison Walters gathered this past Saturday with one simple goal in mind: raise some money via an event called the Heat.

The first time event was an effort to help gym members and local firefighters Daniel Suarez, Doug Rice and Scott Hall with their fundraising goals for the ‘Big Climb’ happening later this month in Seattle.

The Big Climb is an annual event hosted by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to raise funds as well as awareness for the blood cancer which has affected close to 1.5 million people.

“We’re not taking a single dime of profit from this thing, everything is going back to those guys,” owner Bear Walters said of the event.

He added that the initial idea for the March 2 workout came when he was approached by Suarez to host a fundraiser at the gym. A total of 60 people showed up Saturday, paying $20 apiece to challenge themselves in the 29-minute workout and contribute to the cause.

“We took all the stats and turned it into a workout,” Walters said, noting statistics of individuals living in remission of leukemia and lymphoma or those receiving a diagnosis. “It all breaks down so it’s somewhat meaningful.”

To accommodate the 60 participants during their 29-minute challenge, waves of 10 were released every 10 minutes to varying workout stations. A total of over $2500 was raised during the event through participation fee and event T-shirt sales.

“Generosity,” Walters said of what impresses him most about the community as well as the members of Get Fit Oakdale. “It blows me away the way the community rallies around a cause, whatever that may be. People are so generous. It blows me away what people do for a cause.”

“It’s amazing and it’s overwhelming just to see the community come together, even for people they don’t know,” Get Fit Oakdale trainer and event organizer Shonna Orique added. “It’s what we believe in and bringing that community together, that family feel. We love on everybody. We think of everybody as part of our family.”

“Our team is the most selfless individuals you could ever possibly imagine,” Walters added, sharing hosting the event required an all in mentally of the trainers, as well as a team of volunteers all totaling 25 people.

“I love everything about it,” Orique said of working with the Get Fit crew. “Honestly I feel like it’s not even a job, it’s just my passion.”

“The people are the key,” Walters continued. “The life changes and the ability for us to help people. Anybody can write a workout, it’s how you touch and reach people that’s the important part.”

Just a few months post first opening of the business, Walters shared the response to their facility by the community has been both overwhelming as well as humbling. The response to the Heat event, much of the same. An event which they hoped would draw 30 participants, doubled their expectations.

As the firefighters continue to prepare and fundraise for their trip to the Pacific Northwest, Walters shared they will continue to take donations at the 120 E. F St. business to support them in their endeavor. For additional information or to make a donation call (209) 493-7633 or e-mail

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Get Fit Oakdale member Heather Gonzales was all smiles with a post workout glow on Saturday after completing the 29-minute intense workout to benefit fellow gym mates and firefighters Daniel Suarez, Doug Rice and Scott Hall.