Victor and Lynne Brick, owners of Brick Bodies and Maryland’s Planet Fitness centers, are partnering with Arundel Lodge, Inc., a nonprofit in Edgewater, MD that provides mental health and substance use treatment to more than 3,000 community members annually, to build the John W. Brick Memorial Fitness Center, bringing the healing gift of physical fitness to community members in recovery.
In 2016, Victor and Lynne Brick, along with friends and family, founded The John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation in honor of Victor’s brother, John, who died of complications of schizophrenia at the age of 62. Victor and Lynne believe that a focus on holistic wellness that includes a sound diet and exercise could have greatly improved Victor’s brother’s mental health. Victor and John Brick were always close. As the younger brother, Victor has many early memories of his big brother, sticking up for him and teaching him the ropes. When John was diagnosed with schizophrenia, it became Victor’s turn to support and take care of his older brother. In the process, Victor observed that, “throughout all of John’s illness, at some of the best hospitals and institutions in the world, never once was exercise, diet, or a healthy lifestyle included in his treatment plan.”
It is with this principle in mind that the Bricks responded to a call from Tanya St. John, Director, Development and Marketing at Arundel Lodge requesting that the Bricks lend their expertise in helping to establish a fitness center at Arundel Lodge for the community members they serve. “People with behavioral health disorders have a life span 25 years shorter than the average population,” says Tanya St. John, “one major reason is a sedentary life-style – depression and even some of the medications that contribute to people’s mental stability play a part. Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve mood and can reduce stress and other symptoms of mental illness. We wanted to team up with the Bricks because we know how passionate they are about physical fitness and mental health. The community members we serve need support from others who recognize that a holistic approach is the best option for recovery success. We are so grateful to Victor and Lynne Brick and the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation for their vision and their generosity. When Victor Brick visited Arundel Lodge and got to meet our clients, he sprang into action!”
“I liked what I saw at Arundel Lodge. They provide so many opportunities for wellness–therapy, employment help, medical care and coordination, home supports, life-skills classes, healthy meals, and they do it with compassion and respect. I knew this was something of which we needed to be a part. We were in a position to join forces and make a real impact in this community. That means something to Lynne and me,” says Victor.
The Brick’s donated professional-level exercise equipment and the renovation of 2 spaces– one room with treadmills, stationary bicycles, free weights, and a universal fitness machine, plus an adjacent room that will be used for aerobic exercise, light strength and conditioning, yoga, meditation and nutrition and wellness classes. The fitness center will be called, The John W. Brick Memorial Fitness Center at Arundel Lodge, in honor of Victor’s brother. This gift, totaling nearly $60,000, will build more than great bodies, it will build a legacy of health and wellness for community members working hard toward their recovery.
The John W. Brick Memorial Fitness Center at Arundel Lodge will be open to Arundel Lodge clients in April 2019. A ribbon cutting will be hosted on April 25, from 11am – 1pm at Arundel Lodge’s main campus location, 2600 Solomons Island Rd, Edgewater, MD 21037. Community members are welcome to attend.