PITTSBURGH, May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC), the nation's largest specialty retailer of health and wellness products, is launching a month-long fundraising and awareness campaign for Run With US! at more than 5,000 GNC stores and online at GNC.com. Run With US! is a curriculum-based health & wellness program that brings elite track & field athletes and aspiring Olympians into the classroom to demonstrate how exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand with goal setting and self-esteem.
GNC's campaign will kick off on Saturday, May 3 rd with appearances at approximately 175 GNC stores across the country by athletes from the USA Track & Field Foundation, the sponsor of Run With US! USATF Foundation athletes will also appear in support of Run With US! and the GNC campaign at the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 3 rd and 4 th. GNC is a sponsor of the Pittsburgh Marathon.
With tight budgets and growing pressure to improve standardized test scores, schools across the country are increasingly cutting back on physical education and recess - only 4% of elementary schools offer physical education classes more than twice a week!
Currently, Run with US! is being used in over 70,000 classrooms across all 50 states and teaches children that physical activity breaks (aka "brain breaks") help them as students to be more engaged, focused and ready to learn by burning off excess energy."GNC's fundraising campaign for Run With US! is a natural fit with our corporate support for other non-profit organizations that provide health & wellness programs that benefit both individuals and communities," said Joseph Fortunato, Chairman, President and CEO of GNC. "GNC employees and customers have given generously to many fitness-focused campaigns in the past, and we anticipate strong support during our month-long campaign for the Run With US! program." He added, "At the same time, GNC's support of Run With US! is another way of expressing our new 'Beat Average' branding campaign. The combination of a classroom-based curriculum and aspiring athletes deeply committed to being their very best is a great way for young people to learn how good exercise and nutrition habits can help them 'Beat Average' in their own lives." Bob Greifeld, Chairman of the USA Track & Field Foundation, said, "The USA Track & Field Foundation can't say thanks enough to GNC for this opportunity to fund Run With US! We are committed to inspiring kids to make healthy lifestyle choices and this fundraising campaign is a giant leap forward for the program." Pittsburgh-based media as well as visiting marathon media will also have a chance to see the Run With US! program in action on Friday, May 2 at the following Mt. Lebanon School District locations: 10:30 – 11:30 AM: Lincoln Elementary School Gymnasium2 Ralston Place Pittsburgh, PA 1:00 – 2:00 PM:Washington Elementary School Gymnasium735 Washington Road Pittsburgh, PA About USA Track & Field FoundationThe USATF Foundation provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track and field programs with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, distance training centers and anti-doping education. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors, major gifts and from generous fans of track & field. Elite athletes are supported by the Foundation via monetary grants, career counseling (mentoring & jobs) and participation in Run With US! ( www.rwus-now.org). Youth athletes are supported via monetary grants to youth clubs. For more information, or to contribute to the USA Track & Field Foundation, visit www.usatffoundation.org or contact Tom Jackovic at (412) 398-2484 or firstname.lastname@example.org. About GNC Holdings, Inc.GNC Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, is a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products and diet products, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "GNC." The Company – which is dedicated to helping consumers Live Well – has a diversified, multi-channel business model and derives revenue from product sales through company-owned retail stores, domestic and international franchise activities, third party contract manufacturing, e-commerce and corporate partnerships. GNC's broad and deep product mix, which is focused on premium, value-added nutritional products, is sold under GNC proprietary brands, including Mega Men®, Ultra Mega®, Total Lean™, Pro Performance®, Pro Performance® AMP, Beyond Raw®, and under nationally recognized third party brands. As of December 31, 2013, GNC has more than 8,500 locations, of which more than 6,300 retail locations are in the United States (including 1,012 franchise and 2,215 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in more than 50 countries (including distribution centers where retail sales are made).