Landmark Dudley Square fitness center to close
Banner Staff | 9/26/2012, 11:38 a.m.
Brandy Cruthird (c), founder and owner of Body By Brandy Fitness Center, is joined by dozens of youth in the On My Way, On My Bike program. The new fitness and self-esteem initiative is a collaboration between Bikes Not Bombs, the city of Boston and Body By Brandy Fitness Center. (Eric Esteves photo)
After nearly 20 years providing fitness, health and wellness services in Boston's urban community, owner Brandy Cruthird has announced that Body By Brandy Fitness Center and Body By Brandy 4 Kidz will close its Dudley Square headquarters at the end of October.
Cruthird opened Body By Brandy Fitness Center on Washington Street in Roxbury's Dudley Square in March 1996, offering fitness programming for adults and gym facilities for both individual and group exercise.
She said she was "motivated by a void in the availability of services that increase awareness of healthy lifestyles in communities of color."
A growing interest in the health of children and youth led her to launch Body By Brandy 4 Kidz, one of the first fitness centers in the Boston area devoted to children, in 2006. As part of a key collaboration with Children's Hospital of Boston, doctors at the hospital wrote prescriptions for fitness and wellness training at Cruthird's fitness centers for overweight and obese children.
"I am humbled that I have created a place where fitness dreams have come true, people have made new friends and lives have been changed, one workout at a time," Cruthird said in a statement. "The gym became a place not just to work out, but a place to embrace overall health and wellness. Who says dreams don't come true?"
Body By Brandy Fitness Center and Body By Brand 4 Kidz has received a number of awards and recognitions, including a Champion in Action grant from Citizens Bank and media coverage in "The Boston Globe," "Essence Magazine" and "NBC Nightly News."
"Our commitment to changing individual's lives has been felt not just in our neighborhood, but across the country," she said.
Cruthird thanked her customers for their unwavering support, calling them her "biggest inspiration."
"My vision would not have been possible without you, my incredible and loyal customers," Cruthird said. "You have made this journey rewarding and gratifying. You helped me realize my dreams. I will always be indebted and hold each of you dear to my heart."
She also expressed gratitude to her staff for "all their efforts and dedication."
While Cruthird has met the closing of Body By Brandy Fitness Center and BBB 4 Kidz with "a mixture of sadness, gratitude and anticipation," she said she's hopeful that there will be opportunities in the future to work with the many clients and customers who have supported her businesses over the years. She said she remains committed to bringing fitness and positive health outcomes to underserved communities and will continue to offer fitness projects and activities under the name BBB 360 Community Health and Wellness.