PITTSBURGH, PA, August 2, 2016 – The USA Track & Field Foundation, in partnership with GNC, a leading global specialty retailer of health, wellness and performance products, raised over $85,000 during a month-long fundraising and awareness campaign at more than 4,300 GNC stores across the U.S. The USA Track & Field Foundation provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track & field programs, with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, and distance training centers. The USA Track & Field Foundation, launched in 2005, assists dedicated, aspiring world-class athletes of any age to realize their potential and dreams.

GNC customers and associates, along with a donation of $10,000 from the GNC Live Well Foundation, which is committed to a world where everyone can pursue a healthier life through education, research and nutrition, raised over $85,000 in support of these athletes.

The support for the USA Track & Field Foundation and its athletes-in-training came as the world’s attention turns to the 2016 Games. As the only privately funded team, the athletes supported by this campaign were in great need of financial assistance. Over 30 athletes from the USA Track & Field Foundation sponsorship roster qualified to compete in Rio this summer and this money will help provide funding for medical expenses, travel, and equipment. These elite athletes train tirelessly for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and many are doing so while living under poverty level.

The joint campaign was dedicated to help the USA Track & Field Foundation greatly expand its Elite Athlete Development and Run With US! programs. The hope is that athletes who are training for international elite competition will have the means necessary to realize their dreams and simultaneously have opportunities to give back in their communities — inspiring kids with their stories of dedication and strength. 100% of all donations collected went directly to USA Track & Field Foundation programs.

In addition to assisting elite athletes, funds also support the USA Track & Field Foundation’s Run With US! program. Run With US! launched in 2012 and uses American heroes — our track & field athletes — to inspire kids to get fit, make healthy choices and set and achieve their goals. As part of the program, our nation’s best track & field athletes visit schools and community centers, where they teach kids track & field skills and talk about the importance of fitness, nutrition, and making positive choices.

Bob Greifeld, Chairman of the USA Track & Field Foundation stated, “The USA Track & Field Foundation is forever grateful to GNC, GNC’s dedicated customers and the GNC Live Well Foundation for their support and continued efforts in this pivotal year.  This is the boost our athletes need to be able to compete at the top level we all expect from America’s team.”