Curt and Judy Munson have long believed running is the easiest way to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle. With the mission of improving the health of the Lansing area and giving back to the community in mind, they opened Playmakers in 1981. Since then, they have been providing the Lansing community with comfortable and fashionable athletic gear.
Every year, Playmakers promotes more than 200 races and fun runs, but found they had reached a limit for what a retail store could do for the community. In 2011, the Playmakers Fitness Foundation (PFF) was founded to fulfill the need to provide healthier activities for the community. Through the foundation, Playmakers has been able to expand its reach within the community and has expanded the programs offered to members of the Lansing community.
“I love my job,” said Marcy Kinzer, executive director of the Playmakers Fitness Foundation. “I love that it gives back to people and continues their education.”
The Foundation now provides more than 40,000 people with the opportunity to participate in runs and walks, many of which wouldn’t have been able to participate otherwise, and partners with different organizations that also promote healthy lifestyles. Currently, PFF is working with the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing to create a running club for kids, and with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to offer a free eight-week “Couch to 5k” program in the mid-Michigan area. The foundation has also partnered with Impression 5 and Fifth Third Bank to organize the Capital City River Run and make it the region’s premier running event.
“We love working with companies in the area to promote and encourage runs,” said Kinzer.
Playmakers Fitness Foundation also teaches what’s called Good Form Walking. Good Form Walking is a technique designed to help people walk and run healthier, easier and faster. In partnership with AARP, Playmakers Fitness Foundation is offering sessions for any AARP members. The first session will take place on April 15 at the Kellogg Center.
“Education is as important as the runs,” said Kinzer. “If somebody wants to get into running, they can come in and any of our staff can help them find what they will need and can help them with their form on a treadmill.”
Playmakers Fitness Foundation does more than sponsor running events and teach proper walking and running technique. They also give back to the community in other ways. Recently, PFF donated 400 shoes to St. Vincent Catholic Charities to help people get out and get healthy. For everyone who works with the Foundation, the most important thing is to get people up and moving in any way that they can.
For more information about the Playmakers Fitness Foundation, visit playmakers.com/foundation.