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Sep 5

Veteran awarded grant to open Anytime Fitness franchise – Dothan Eagle

Liz Hunt developed her love for fitness as a matter of survival.

Hunt, a retired Air Force technical sergeant, served for 15 years and six deployments. Hunt knew that keeping herself and her subordinates in good condition was essential for them to do their jobs and to handle dangers that arose. Her commitment served her well in 2007, when she was injured in a rocket attack and had to rehabilitate her knee after surgery.

Liz now hopes to share her enthusiasm for fitness with Dothan, and a grant from Anytime Fitness is helping her to do it. The gym company recently awarded Hunt a substantial grant to start her own Anytime Fitness franchise in Dothan as part of its Operation Heartfirst program.

The company and a nonprofit called Tee It Up for the Troops work together to provide a $125,000 grant and a $125,000 loan to veterans to start franchises. The Operation Heartfirst program helps one vet start a gym each year.

We didnt have to go into this with any capital of our own, she said.

Liz, who has a bachelors degree in physiology/kinesiology, worked at an Anytime Fitness location in North Dakota before her husband got orders to transfer to Dothan, where he works as an instructor pilot at Fort Rucker.

Lizs former employer urged her to check into the Operation Heartfirst program, which chooses a new location and solicits applications from local veterans each year. When she found out the location was Dothan, she knew it was a sign.

There were too many coincidences, she said. Clearly, this is Gods work.

Liz and Corey will co-own and manage the gym. The gym will be located in the storefront next to the movie theatre at the Dothan Pavilion. Liz plans to open the gym in January.

Im excited, Corey said. This is something shes wanted to do for a long time. Im happy to support her.

Liz said that her plan for the gym includes offering some services that may not be available at other local gyms. Liz said she hopes to make rehabilitative fitness a focus of her business.

Its going to be so dope, she said.

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Veteran awarded grant to open Anytime Fitness franchise - Dothan Eagle

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