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Equinox Tries to Fix Boycott with $1 Million Donation

harvey spevak

But to help determine where it goes, you must go in to the gyms.

Equinox has pledged to donate $1 million to charity following calls for a boycott. The boycott began after it was revealed that Stephen Ross, chairman of Equinox-owner The Related Companies, was hosting a fundraiser for Donald Trump. Ross is also reportedly also the chairman of Equinox Holdings.

"The last week has been difficult for all," Harvey Spevak, executive chairman and managing partner of Equinox, wrote in an email that went out to its remaining members Thursday morning. "I am sorry for the impact it has had on our community -- and I'm sorry we haven't said more."

In the message, Spevak sought to clarify Ross' involvement in the luxury fitness chain. "Mr. Ross is not the majority investor in Equinox," he wrote. "He is one of the investors including myself. He does not run the company. I do. I am the Executive Chairman of Equinox and have led the vision and strategic direction of the company since I joined in 1999."

Spevak added that Equinox's "focus has always been about building a community centered on values, not politics."

Spevak then went on to detail how the company has historically shown its values: helping to raise $42 million for Cycle for Survivor, assisting injured veterans with The Heroes Project, raising awareness around cognitive health with Move for Minds, assisting The Felix Organization to help children in foster care, and partnering with House Lives Matter to support people in the ballroom community.

"While I don't have all the answers, what we have heard from many of you is that you would like Equinox to immediately help amplify your voice in support of causes we as a community have always held close," Spevak wrote. "As a next step, Equinox will make a $1 million donation to benefit the five charities mentioned above. From August 17 through August 31, every check-in will be an opportunity for our members and employees to select how our donation will be allocated among the causes."

The letter did not address whether Ross benefits from any of the company's profits.

This isn't the first time Equinox has addressed customers as it seeks to do damage control in the wake of the scandal. Last week, the company released a joint statement with the fitness company SoulCycle, which shares the same ownership.

"Neither Equinox nor SoulCycle have anything to do with the event later this week and do not support it," the company wrote of the fundraiser. "As is consistent with our policies, no company profits are used to fund politicians. We are committed to all our members and the communities we live in. We believe in tolerance and equality, and will always stay true to those values."

The fundraiser that sparked protests from members of the LGBTQ+ community and critics of the current administration brought in a reported $13 million for Trump's reelection campaign.

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