Affiliate of the Month: CrossFit Waukee Giving Back Since 2012

February 5, 2024 by
Credit: Ginnie Coleman
Enjoying Morning Chalk Up? Access additional exclusive interviews, analyses, and stories with an Rx membership.

If there’s a cause, the CrossFit Waukee community in Waukee, IA gets behind it. 

From cystic fibrosis to breast cancer to fundraisers for veterans, it’s just part of their culture, says gym owner Reggie Hoegh, whose gym has given thousands to various charities since opening in 2012.

The details: Seven years ago, one of their member’s children was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Since then, Hoegh and his wife Laura Hoegh have hosted a competition—Major’s Fitness Festival—to fundraise and have raised more than $15,000 for the disease without a cure. 

They did the same after two of their members were diagnosed with breast cancer. They began hosting fundraisers each October, and have raised several thousands in various ways for breast cancer through the years, as well. Further, they have raised money for other nonprofits, such as Project Onyx, as well as the Food Bank of Iowa.

CrossFit Waukee’s efforts, however, extend beyond the walls of their gym. It has become part of the local culture for the community to rally and show up for all kinds of local events, from 5k fundraiser runs for cancer to local events to raise money for mental health for military veterans. 

  • “If there’s a cause in the area we believe in, we rally our members together and get as many people out as we can to support that event,” Hoegh said, whose gym usually has between 150 and 180 members, plus a big youth program. 
  • “If it feels close to home and whenever it’s a heartfelt cause, we want to support it,” he added. 

That being said, Hoegh insists the desire to give back is led by his members more than anything else.

Case in point: The founder of ValorFit, a non-profit that supports veterans through financial aid and gym memberships, Troy Peterson, was a long-time member of CrossFit Waukee. A military veteran who fought in Iraq, Peterson found himself overweight and turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with his PTSD. In 2015, he attempted suicide. Then he found CrossFit, which became a healing force in his life and soon led him to found ValorFit to help other veterans through fitness. 

The CrossFit Waukee community has, of course, hosted multiple fundraisers through the years for ValorFit.

The big picture: As a 13-year gym owner, Hoegh has learned the power of his community, and it’s what keeps him excited to continue doing what he’s doing. And, to some degree, it’s what keeps his members showing up.

  • “Half our members have been with us for a decade…and any time something comes up, they ask, ‘What can I do to help?’ I’m just really proud of how we step up,” Hoegh said. 

He added: “I am always blown away by how supportive [our] members are. It can take a lot of time and effort to get it done and can be exhausting, but it really brings our community together and makes it stronger in the long run….I can’t imagine not being a part of this community, which is why I plan on doing this the rest of my life.”

Get the Newsletter

For a daily digest of all things CrossFit. Community, Competitions, Athletes, Tips, Recipes, Deals and more.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.