Due to the extremely bad air quality in Northern California from the raging wildfires, Virgin Sport announced the cancellation of their San Francisco festival of fitness. Mary Wittenberg, Global CEO of the company, said, “Unfortunate, but necessary. Health and safety first. Our thoughts are with so many impacted in Bay Area,” on Twitter this morning.
Enormous, devastating wildfires broke out in the North Bay Area near San Francisco late Saturday night and have destroyed thousands of acres, including neighborhoods, restaurants, businesses and wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties. Unaffected areas nearby have opened the doors to many gyms, fitness clubs, bookstores, high schools and beyond to the victims who had to flee at barely a moment’s notice.
The cancellation of this weekend’s festival ensure that all first responders are available to help put out the fires. “While the cancelation is primarily linked to the health and safety of our athletes and volunteers, the decision also means that we are not using valuable Bay Area first responders and resources that can be better utilized elsewhere. Our deepest sympathies go out to the thousands of people impacted by these deadly fires. Our deepest sympathies go out to the thousands of people impacted in these deadly fires,” said the press release.
“We regret the inconvenience and lost opportunities for all of our partners, vendors, attendees and others associated with cancelling what would have been, under different circumstances, a fun, celebratory, inaugural event. These fires are a tragic event for the local community and we’re confident the athletic community will agree that this was the right, and indeed, the only sensible decision to take for the sake of everyone’s health and safety.”
The company is not only issuing a full refund to all participants, but they are also making a $25,000 donation to the Northern California coastal region of the American Red Cross—one that founding partners ASICS will match.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by these devastating fires, and we urge anyone who is in the area to cancel your outdoor workouts and bring them inside.