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Thursday, 21 June 2012 13:06

Pay it Forward: Chris Lampen-Crowell, Co-Founder, Gazelle Sports

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Pay it Forward: Chris Lampen-Crowell, Co-Founder, Gazelle Sports PHOTO: Joe Boomgaard
For Gazelle Sports co-founder Chris Lampen-Crowell, giving back is all about advocating for a healthier, more active community.

Lampen-Crowell co-founded the small West Michigan-based chain of running and fitness stores in 1985. From the beginning, the retailer focused on building a community of health and fitness conscious individuals.

"The way we really give back is by encouraging fitness and movement in the community," said Lampen-Crowell. "We want to
transform West Michigan into the healthiest region in the country."

Gazelle Sports helps improve the fitness profile of West Michigan by providing runners and walkers with free in-store clinics on topics including proper running form and injury prevention and recovery. The stores also organize group running events for all ages and ability levels.

"A number of things we do are free, but we also provide programs for coaching, whether for a 5K, 10K, half-marathon or marathon," said Lampen-Crowell.

Lampen-Crowell and Gazelle Sports also give back by organizing fun runs that benefit nonprofits, such as the Thanksgiving Gobble Wobble Run for Kid's Food Basket. They organize fun runs like the Earth Day zero-waste run organized with Harvest Health Foods to raise awareness about environmental issues. Gazelle Sports also partners with organizations such as Girls on the Run, an organization dedicated to using running to build self-esteem and fitness consciousness for girls in third to eighth grades.

"What we try to do is build community and focus on building community health," said Lampen-Crowell. "We want to connect in an authentic way, building relationships. We're not all just about 'Here's this product.'"

Read 2818 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 August 2012 22:55

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