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NY Fit Fest ambassadors help L.B. stay warm

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NY Fit Fest ambassadors joined forces with local gyms and Long Beach residents for a day of health, wellness and giving back to the community during Fit Fest’s third annual Coat & Blanket Drive on Dec. 1.

The event, organized by NY Fit Fest Co-founders Ingrid Dodd and Colette Lee Morales, was held at Barrier Island CrossFit on East Park Avenue. Organizers said that they collected hundreds of coats and blankets, which will be distributed at the Martin Luther King Center for people in need. Throughout the drive, organizers and representatives from local gyms such as Barrier Island CrossFit, Dimensional Training, Mstany Boot Camp, Core 95 Long Beach, Caya Fitness and Buddy Casimano provided free fitness and dance classes to the public.

“It’s so awesome to see gym owners from around Long Island come together and lead their classes here in Long Beach,” Dodd said. “It’s important to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and spread the love.”

Morales’s partner Jess Thurman, co-owner of Barrier Island CrossFit, said that they were thrilled to be able to provide the space to bring people together.

“There’s nothing more important than giving back,” Morales said. “It is truly heartwarming to be able to provide that platform for others and to come together as a community.”

She added that some people went out of their way to purchase new jackets to donate to the drive.

The event also featured local vendors like Baked By The Ocean, Rebuild The Beach, Fit by Globish, Sidebar Coffee, Power Core Strength and Murphy’s Bloody Mary Mix.

James Hodge, chairman of the MLK Center, stressed the impact that the drive has had on people.

“Last year when we gave out all these donations, there were tears in people’s eyes,” Hodge said in a press release. “We feel truly blessed to be a part of this event for the third year in a row.”