Saying Goodbye with Flair: Hub Fitness Closes Its Doors With a Party That Gives Back

by Lacey Eibert Keigley

Next week, Hub Fitness will no longer be housed on Main Street.  Owner Leslie Nease is joining forces with Furman University’s Physical Activity Center, known at Furman as simply the PAC.  After considering options for Hub, such as expansion or growth, Nease decided that the best choice was not the obvious choice.

“One thing I really wanted was to be able to provide equipment for Hub’s clients, so that if they couldn’t come to a class, they could work out on their own,” Nease said, her sincerity evident as she spoke.  “I once did a Bible study called Experiencing God and one idea I gleaned from that is to go where God is doing things and to join in with what is already being done.  I think that same idea applies here too.  Furman already has a beautiful facility and great equipment and we have a wonderful group fitness program, so this seemed like a merging of the best of both worlds.  And, you know, Hub is more than a location – we’re more than that.  We are a community.”



The last class at the Hub takes place May 13.  After that, all of the group classes previously offered at the Hub will be happening at the PAC.  Several of the Hub’s instructors are joining Nease at Furman and there are multiple options for membership and class attendance, along with the added bonus of a pool and additional equipment available for guests.  “We are bringing our yoga classes and our barre pilates, our cardio and our strength training classes,” Nease assured us.

It wasn’t enough, however, for Leslie Nease to just say goodbye to Main Street and the Hub and to walk away quietly.  If you have known Nease for a while – or even for a few minutes – you quickly catch her spunk and the enthusiasm she has for people and for fun.

“I knew I’d feel better about closing out this chapter if we could end our last Hub class with a bang – if we could have fun AND do a good thing here in our community,” Nease grinned.  “I wanted to make an impact.”

Pretty sure she will be.

Hub’s last official class will be held on Saturday, May 13.  And it’s a lot more like a party than a final exercise class.  More like a celebration and an event than a farewell.  And, it’s about more than just exercise, it is about helping others too.

Years ago Nease was a contestant on the popular reality TV show Survivor.  Through the many years that the show has been on the air, a small army of people have become castaways and have formed a community of former Survivor stars.  Partnering with those friends, Nease is planning a Hub Survivor-esque event that will serve as a farewell to Hub as well as a fundraiser for a cause very dear to her own heart, as well as to the hearts of her fellow Survivor castaways.

“I felt like this was a unique opportunity for our town to have an event that makes a difference and will also be a ton of fun at the same time,” Nease said.

All of the proceeds from Saturday’s event go directly to an organization called Give Kids the World Village.  (That’s right, one hundred percent of the proceeds are heading to this special organization.  That means that the Hub and Sidewall Pizza are generously donating all of their time and energies and profit to this unique organization.)

Give the Kids the World Village is a 79 acre nonprofit storybook resort in central Florida.    The resort caters to families with children who are suffering with life-threatning illnesses.  For one week, the children and their entire families are able to experience a completely cost free vacation where they are treated to special events, meals and activities.  “One thing I love about Give Kids the World is that the siblings, the entire family, are made to feel so special and that the children are able to feel normal for a week – to think about fun and enjoying one another,” Nease said.  She and several other friends from Survivor spend a week in August at the resort every year, visiting with the families and raising funds to further the organization.  “You get to witness these powerful stories – from all ends of the spectrum.  From kids who thrive and actually get better, in part because of spending a week focusing on joy, from families who tragically lose their children to cancer, but have this one memorable and significant week together to just be a family with zero pressure,” Nease said.  You can tell as she speaks about these kids and this resort that it holds a rather sweet place in her heart.

The event takes place in TR on Saturday, May 13.  There are two elements to the day and you can choose to participate in one or in both.




Workout for Hope from 9 to 11 am.  

This is an exercise class and is officially the last class of Hub.  (This is the going out in style part for the gym.)  When you arrive at Hub Saturday morning you will be divided into one of three “tribes” in the style of the show Survivor.  Three work out stations will be set up for the tribes.  Eventually you will make your way through all the stations, so no worries about missing out on anything.  Hub instructor Candin Phillip will be leading a conditioning class, Elizabeth Wingard will be teaching a barre pilates class and Lorraine Matheny will be working through a cool down yoga at the end.  Additionally, and a class Survivor junkies will get excited about, is a class taught by Survivor castaway Caleb Reynolds and his wife out on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Also attending the workout session, and working out along with you, will be a handful of Survivor castaways.  (You can see the full list below.)

The suggested donation for the Workout for Hope is $25, but since all of your proceeds are heading to such a good cause, feel free to generously go above and beyond the suggested donation price.

After your workout, and with enough time slotted for a shower, you can join in more Survivor fun at Sidewall Pizza.


Survivor Meet and Greet at Sidewall from 1 to 4 pm.

Eat lunch – pizza and salad – and enjoy a Survivor Castaway Meet & Greet in the afternoon.  Sidewall will be all decked out Survivor style and there will be music and door prizes, fun Survivor style challenges and a question and answer time with the Survivor castaways.



If you are a Survivor fan, you’ll recognize the names of some of your favorites who will be in attendance – Big Tom, Tina Wesson, Caleb Reynolds, Tanya Vance, Sandra Diaz-Twine (the only two time Survivor winner), Jonny FairPlay, Sherea Lloyd, Jane Bright, Jeremiah Wood and of course Leslie Nease as well.

The suggestion donation for lunch and the meet and greet afternoon is $50, but again – we would encourage generosity in light of such a great cause.

We’d also encourage signing up early.  You can definitely just arrive on the day of the event and make your donation at the door, but if there is a full house, priority will be given to those who paid in advance and signed up early.

You can sign up here for both the Workout for Hope and the Survivor Meet & Greet at Sidewall.


Other Ways to Get Involved.

There are a few more exciting ways to engage with this fundraiser, to be a part of the weekend of fun and to spread the word and support Give Kids the World Village from our own hometown of TR.

Currently on eBay there are two events up for bidding.

Eat breakfast Saturday morning with Sandra Diaz-Twine, “The Queen”, at the Cafe at Williams Hardware.  You and Sandra can enjoy that delicious everything grits bowl (or whatever suits your fancy, of course) at the Cafe and talk about whatever it is you are dying to know about Survivor and her experiences on the show.    Or talk about the grits – it’s your breakfast date with Sandra, you talk about what you want!



If you can’t make breakfast but you have half an hour on Friday night, you can buy a Skype party call with a whole bevy of Survivor castaways – including Sandra Diaz-Twine, Jeff Varner, Sherea Lloyd, Leslie Nease, Jane Bright and many more.

You can bid on Breakfast with Sandra at the Cafe here.

You can bid on the Skype party call here.

The event is taking place on Mother’s Day weekend, so if your mom (or your wife who is a mom) is an avid fan of the CBS show, we’re pretty sure you’ll score big if you make a donation in her name and sign her up for the Workout for Hope or the Survivor Sidewall Meet & Greet.  (Or go big – sign her up for both!  It might be the only time you can give the gift of exercise and be embraced for it.)

We’re hoping you come out for the big day and eat pizza and work out and play Survivor games and be a part of the action.  But if you are heading out of town that weekend, we feel confident the Hub would still be grateful for your donation and you can just do that right here through their Facebook link.


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