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TMCNet:  California Family Fitness Co-Founder Responds to Misleading Media Report

[February 14, 2013]

California Family Fitness Co-Founder Responds to Misleading Media Report

ORANGEVALE, Calif. --(Business Wire)--

Today Larry Gury, Co-Founder, Co-CEO, of California Family Fitness (CFF), released the following statement in response to a KCRA report on Feb. 12, regarding an incident that occurred at the company's Natomas Club two years ago.

"KCRA aired what it called an investigative report about childcare and our facilities. Despite the fact that we provided the reporter with extensive information, the result wasn't balanced or accurate. I take too much pride in our company to simply "let it go." People trust us to provide quality and caring service, so I'm writing to share more about our company as well as information that should have been included in the report.

I grew up in Sacramento, and with a background in recreation and my friend Russ Kuhn, we opened the first California Family Fitness twenty years ago. Our commitment and philosophy to this day is to provide fitness facilities for the entire family to enjoy. Everyday, Russ and I take great pride watching a great team of employees carry on the dedication and pleasure of providing a great service to our members. Today, I enjoy taking my own grandchildren to our childcare facilities and observe the caring staff with our little ones and their parents. It is so wonderful and gratifying to see two decades of service provide people of all ages a healthy environment.

The safety of all our members and employees has always been top priority for us. That is why all employees have been required to go through etensive CPR training as well as training to use Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs). As a company, we provided AEDs in all our facilities two years before it became state law. It is critical all of our employees receive proper training and undergo background checks. All background checks are conducted through Live Scan.

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CFF staff and representatives provided these facts about our employees, the training they undergo and the background checks that are performed, but the KCRA reporter did not include this important information.

We are proud of our family team of employees who work very hard to provide the best services for our members and their children. The accident that occurred was unfortunate, and something our entire team feels badly about. We take it personally because we care. I am very disappointed that KCRA left out the great efforts that we take to keep our clubs safe, and our members happy. Additionally, I am extremely disappointed that the report did not include our team's genuine sense of remorse and sorrow about the fact that a child was hurt.

Here are the facts about the accident:

The child tripped and fell while playing in our Kidz Klub. A staff member was only a few feet away, and the employee immediately picked up the child to provide comfort and then noticed the severity of the injury. The childcare manager then came to the child's aid, and the father was paged several times. When the father finally came into the room, our team asked if he wanted us to call 911. We did so immediately when asked. Following the accident, we placed several follow-up calls to the child's parents to check on the welfare of the child. Our follow up efforts also included letting the father review the video from our surveillance cameras.

The KCRA report suggested that the parents' motivation was that they only wanted to prevent this from happening to other children. Excluded was the fact that the family is seeking a substantial amount of money in damages. That information is relevant and crucial, giving viewers a more accurate perspective of the family's motivation.

We appreciate that the news media wants to cover stories they believe are controversial or in the public interest, and we believed that the reporter would present all the facts so viewers could draw their own conclusions. Disappointingly, this irresponsible report falls far short of the journalistic standards we have a right to expect from what was promoted to viewers as an investigative report.

Russ and I want everyone to know that we deeply care about the welfare of all our members, their children and our employees. Like a family, our team was very concerned to see one of our little ones hurt. Our staff is very close to all of the children who belong to Kidz Klub, and we care for them greatly."

Larry Gury, Co-Founder, Co-CEO, California Family Fitness


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