CrossFit community hosts scholarship fundraiser for LGBTQ+ students

Acceptance, inclusion, and love were at the core of the Choice City CrossFit’s “Love Wins” workout event that raised $1,700 to support of LGBTQ+ students at Colorado State University.

“From the moment I took over Choice City CrossFit, I knew I wanted it to be an inclusive community,” said owner Lauren Ollila, whose facility hosted more than 50 people exercising under black lights over Valentine’s Day Weekend. “I hope that, with the money we’ve raised, the students receiving these funds knows deep in their hearts that they deserve fitness, education, and love just like everyone else.”

Scholarship need for LGBTQ+  students is growing significantly, according to Dora Frias, director of CSU’s Pride Resource Center. Applications for assistance through the center rose to more than 300 during the 2019-20 academic year, up from 34 last year; however, only a small portion of those students will receive support.

“We have a lot of students who have significant financial need,” said Frias, citing a report in the journal Advocate stating that LGBTQ+ students carry, on average, $16,000 more in debt than their heterosexual peers. Lack of family support is a main factor for the increased debt; many LGBTQ+ students receive little to no financial support before, during, and after they graduate from college.

“Some of our students navigate homelessness, hunger, mental health issues, and they work multiple jobs just to try and make it work,” Frias continued. “This scholarship helps to alleviate a small portion of that impact so that our students can be more successful at CSU. It is very meaningful to have a local business supporting the Pride Resource Center and giving back to our students in this way.”

Love Wins participants under balck liglhts at Fort Collins CrossFit

“Love Wins” participants raised funds for CSU’s Pride Resource Center over Valentine’s weekend at Choice City CrossFit.

The Pride Resource Center also relies on the biennial Prism Drag Show to raise funds for LGBTQ+ students, but, like other events on the CSU campus, this year’s show has been canceled to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. To learn how you can help support LGBTQ+ students and the work of Pride Resource Center, visit the website.