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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Director issues entertaining challenge to community

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  • Hesston Wellness Center director Jason Jones knew it wouldn't be easy to top the organization's membership promotion for last year.Jones — an avid K-State fan — had promised to dye his hair KU "crimson and blue" if the Wellness Center recruited 100 new/renewed members in January. Since the center ended up exceeding its goal, he had to dye his hair and wore a KU shirt for a full day.However, this year's challenge will probably be even more embarrassing for Jones. He said if the center brings in 100 new/renewed memberships during the month of January, he has agreed to dress up like Maria from "West Side Story" and sing "I Feel Pretty." The performance will be on one of the Thursday Night Specials at Water’s Edge, with the date to be determined."I have done a lot of music theater in the past, including playing Riff in 'West Side Story,'" Jones said. "'I Feel Pretty' was always one of my favorite songs from the show, but I never pictured myself performing it. I have never dressed like a woman or sung soprano before so this will be a very unique experience for me. I’m most worried about having to wear high heels and trying not to trip over my own feet while I’m singing."While Jones probably won't relish the experience, he believes it is for a good cause. He said if the center brings in 100 new/renewed memberships, they will have more than 1,400 members, exceeding the previous membership high that they attained after the January promotion last year, when they passed 1,300 members for the first time."In a community the size of Hesston, this is the highest market penetration rate that I have ever experienced, even during all of my years managing YMCAs," he said. "I am very pleased with the accomplishments that we have made here at the Wellness Center since I have been here. It is truly a team effort, and my staff deserves a lot of the credit."He said anyone who joins or renews their membership in January will receive a free month’s membership and will be entered into a drawing to win 10 free sessions of personal training ($250 value). Also for those joining in January, the $25 new member joining fee will be reduced based on the day of the month that you join (for example: join on Jan. 3 and save $22 on the joining fee). Any member who refers a friend that joins in January will receive a free month’s membership.Jones also would like to increase the organization's number of corporate memberships."We have strong partnerships with many of the businesses in the community, but only a small percentage of the overall employees are typically Wellness Center members," he said. "January is the perfect time for companies to encourage their employees to join so they can take advantage of our corporate membership discounts."He said all of the center's group exercise classes, including water aerobics and land-based exercise classes, are free to members. There is no registration — members can show up when they are available."In my experience group exercise classes provide extra motivation to the new members to want to exercise on a regular basis," Jones said.He encourages people to give the Wellness Center a try — and not just because they want to see his musical "performance.""I am very proud of our facilities and programs, and I think people will be very impressed the first time that they come in to work out," he said. 
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