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The Fitness 4 Focus story really begins with the story of Tommy.


Founder Chris Russell first met Tommy McHale in 2005. At the time, Chris was a Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS) worker for Youth Advocate Programs. At recess on a fall day in Palmyra, PA, he bounced a ball to a boy named Tommy on the playground. The ball went right by him. Three seconds later, Tommy looked. Then he turned to go get the ball. 


This simple moment inspired a profound idea in Chris. An idea of a place.


A place where people with special needs could go to become better. Stronger.


A place that would make them stronger, not only physically, but also cognitively.


A place where they could go to gain confidence. 


A place where an athlete could become more independent. 


Chris noticed Tommy’s poor hand-eye coordination and stamina, but he also knew that Tommy and others like him could improve their physical health with the right tools, people, and environment. ​


Five years later, in January 2010, Fitness 4 Focus officially began. The first facility (just the back of a church in Hershey) has since grown to three facilities spread across central Pennsylvania, and a new location in Goshen, NY


And what about Tommy? He has lost 90 pounds, gained more than that in confidence, and still comes to the gym three times a week, ready to work hard and grow as an athlete.




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