After the discovery that Stephen Ross who owns the firm that owns Equinox hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump (and subsequently raised $12 million to reelect him), Equinox chairman Harvey Spevak released a memo to gym members, and the press announcing a new (lame) initiative to donate $1 million to five charities. The only catch is you have to keep your membership and go to the gym to vote for which one gets the biggest share of it.
Spevak has tried to distance the business from Ross, chairman of real estate company The Related Cos., which owns Equinox as well as sister company SoulCycle.
“Mr. Ross is not the majority investor in Equinox. He is one of the investors including myself. He does not run the company. I do. I am the Executive Chairman of Equinox and have led the vision and strategic direction of the company since I joined in 1999. Our focus has always been about building a community centered on our values, not politics.”
To our Equinox Community –
The last week has been difficult for all. I am sorry for the impact it has had on our community – and I’m sorry we haven’t said more. We have not been ignoring the situation. I have been in our clubs listening to our teams and members. I really appreciate the open and honest feedback I received. It’s been heartfelt and, in many instances, emotional. I’m proud that even during this difficult time our community is one that listens and respects each other.
Many of you have asked for clarification on Stephen Ross’s investment in Equinox. Mr. Ross is not the majority investor in Equinox. He is one of the investors including myself. He does not run the company. I do. I am the Executive Chairman of Equinox and have led the vision and strategic direction of the company since I joined in 1999. Our focus has always been about building a community centered on our values, not politics.
When I joined Equinox over 20 years ago, I worked with our then small team to create values that would guide us forward. They are the foundation of our culture, a culture based on equality, diversity, inclusivity, integrity, empathy and mutual respect. A community where everyone is welcome.
We live our values every day, which means giving back to the communities that have given us so much. We have helped Cycle for Survival raise $42 million for rare cancer research this year alone. We have trained injured veterans returning from war zones to climb the seven highest summits through The Heroes Project. We have partnered with Move for Minds to raise funds and awareness around brain health and women-based Alzheimer’s research. We have worked with The Felix Organization, a charity focused on enriching lives of children in foster care. And we have been a proud partner of House Lives Matter, supporting the House Ballroom Community comprised of sexual and gender minority people of color (LGBTQ and gender non-conforming). Every one of these commitments was started with a single idea reflecting the priorities of our members and employees.
While I don’t have all the answers, what we have heard from many of you is that you would like Equinox to immediately help amplify your voice in support of causes we as a community have always held close. As a next step, Equinox will make a $1 million donation to benefit the five charities mentioned above. From August 17 through August 31, every check-in will be an opportunity for our members and employees to select how our donation will be allocated among the causes.
I want to thank our amazing team and all they do in service of you, our members. It pains me to see how this has been impacting them and I am truly grateful for their commitment, passion and dedication. We will continue to listen to your thoughts and ideas, and while we have a lot of work to do, I am confident that together we will come out a stronger community.
EQUINOX | Executive Chairman, Managing Partner
So Spevak’s PR stunt is to donate 1 million dollars to 5 charities purposely picked to cover the demographics of 5 different groups to counter over 12 million dollars directly deposited to Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
This is unacceptable and a desperate attempt to call off the Equinox/Soul Cycle boycott. DON’T BUY IT.
Until Spevak comes forth with a $12 Million Dollar donation to a Democratic presidential candidate or holds a fundraiser for one the #BoycottEquinox campaign is still on.
HOW TO CANCEL YOUR EQUINOX MEMBERSHIP:
According to Equinox’s FAQ page, all cancellations must be done in-person with a club manager, through the Member Administration department, which you can email at email@example.com, over the phone (866-332-6549), or through registered or certified mail sent to your home club.