Help Seniors, and send Konnie over the Edge

OTE Konnie

Neighbors helping neighbors. That’s sometimes all it takes to keep seniors in their homes and communities as they grow older.  Connecting seniors with people, information, resources and communities is the mission of a local non-profit, Community Senior Services. CSS is celebrating 40 years of service with an unusual fundraiser: Over the Edge. Donors who contribute $1,000 will rappel off the 10-story Ontario Airport Hilton Hotel.

Shirlee’s owner Konnie Vong has accepted the challenge and is asking members to raise $1,000 so that she can donate and rappel on our behalf.  Please help by dropping off a few dollars at the front desk in the next couple weeks.  The event takes place on Saturday, December 5 at the Ontario Hilton Hotel.

Rappelling will be a thrill for Konnie, and she will be thinking of our support as she looks out at the sky, holds onto her rope, and makes her way safely down.

Shirlee’s is all about fitness of mind, body and spirit. Joining together and giving back not only helps seniors in need, it also creates a sense of community and empowerment among ourselves.  Thank you for your generosity.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer through CSS, please contact them through the information below. CSS can match your time and talents with local ­seniors in need.

Community Senior Services
141 Spring Street
Claremont, CA 91711

Community Senior Services serves the West San Gabriel Valley and adjacent San Bernardino County communities of:


Chino Hills
Diamond Bar
La Verne
Rancho Cucamonga
San Dimas
West Covina

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Power of Pink


Whoever said pink is for sissies?  Not at Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym! On Sat., October 17 a sea of pink-clad ladies jumped and danced in the sun like Energizer Bunnies at the gym’s Third Annual Party in Pink Zumbathon and Blood Drive, an event that raises money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awarenss campaign and for breast cancer research at the City of Hope.

Several of Shirlee’s talented and energetic Zumba instructors took turns leading the enthusiastic crowd:


  • Lisa Padilla
  • Martha Keates
  • Tracy Cruz
  • Becky Frost
  • Bre Yakemonis
  • Marisol Baez
  • Sandra Torres

Funds raised from a $15 entrance fee went to Susan B. Komen and funds from $10 raffle ticket sales went to City of Hope.  The combined total was $3,000.

“I am so proud of our members for coming out to support our Party in Pink!” said gym owner Konnie Vong. “Our power is in our connection with each other. And as a team we raised a significant amount of money.”

In addition to raising money, the event also collected blood for City of Hope.  A mobile van collected donations from 30 people.

The Zumbathon/Blood Drive event included vendors offering special discounts and a taco truck with fantastic food.  Shirlee’s partnered with many local businesses to provide raffle prizes.

Christy Passoth, the winner of 2012 Beauties of America 60, spoke about how important it is for women to advocate for their own health and not put off breast cancer screenings.

Watch a one-minute video on our Party in Pink.


Shirlee’s acknowledges our sponsors and others who contributed to the success of party in Pink.


Sunset Tan
Golden Spoons
Pomona Mining Company
Smash Box
Skin Perfect Sonia Martinez
Golden Skin and Nails Spa
The Refresh Bar and Spa
Hair by Heather Taylor
Bert and Rocky’s Ice Cream
AMC Movie Theater
Dr. Martha V. Saucedo DDS
Carol and Richard Anderson
Kristine Dutra
Tracy Cruz
Mary Lamb
Jojo Terzano
Bre Yakemonis
National RAM Business Systems
Dr. Konnie Vong, LAc
Travis Carney
Power Pros Electric Company
El Cerritos Mexican Restaurant
Lorna Jane
De Marie Bottai
La Paloma
Emily Stevenson
Helen Rico
Jan Luke
Limericks Tavern
Christie Passoth
Sandy Abesedos
Yvonne Maldonado
Kathy Chevalier
Britney Degen



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Facebook Special for New Members

Thinking about joining Shirlee’s Ultimate Fitness Club?  Like us on Facebook and receive a special discount!



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Relay for Life Team Meets $5,000 Goal

Thanks to our generous members, Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym reached our goal of raising $5,000 at Upland’s Relay for Life on June 13 at Magnolia Park, thereby earning the tile of Silver Sponsor. The event raised money for the American Cancer’s Society’s fight against cancer.

The Gym’s team was named “D-Lad  ❤️ Shirlee’s” in honor of two courageous people who died of cancer: Daniel (D-Lad) Ladner (son of gym member Frances Ladner), who died from complications of leukemia at 18, and Gary Peterson, Shirlee’s founder, who died in October 2014, also from leukemia.

Peterson’s upbeat attitude and love for life lives on in the the gym he founded and named “Shirlee’s” as an acronym for: Strengthen, Hearten, Inspire, Restore, Love, Encourage, Empower, Support.

“On behalf of Shirlee’s, I personally want to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped us reach our $5,000 goal,” said Peterson’s wife, Konnie Vong, who now owns the gym. “We came together in memory of of D-Lad and Gary as well as other friends and relatives lost to cancer, and I am proud of our members for supporting the American Cancer Society.”



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Blood Drive Tuesday June 23



Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym and City of Hope are hosting a Blood Drive on Tuesday, June 23 at the gym from 8 am to 2 pm. To schedule an appointment, please call (626) 471-7171. Appointments are recommended but walk-ins are also welcome.  Shirlee’s is located at 1275 W. Foothill Blvd in Upland.

Blood donors must:

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Have a state/government issued picture I.D.
  • Eat iron rich foods
  • Feel well the day of donation


Donors do not have to be a member of the gym—the public is welcome.

Each month, City of Hope patients use more than 2,700 units of blood and platelets donated by caring individuals like you. Donating blood is simple, fast and safe. Give a gift that assists patients in their fight to regain good health and quality of life.­­­­

Shirlee’s is pleased to partner with City of Hope, our members, and the community to support those in need.  Please join us in keeping the community ShirleeStrong!


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Relay for Life Team in the Fight Against Cancer


Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym invites you to join Team D-Lad  ❤️ Shirlee’s at Upland’s Relay for Life on Saturday June 13, 2015, at Magnolia Park. The event raises money for the American Cancer’s Society’s fight against cancer.  The team’s name honors gym member Frances Ladner’s son, Daniel (D-Lad), who died from complications of leukemia at 18, as well as Shirlee’s, whose owner, Gary Peterson, died in October 2014, also from leukemia. The gym is now owned by his wife, Konnie Vong, and supports health-related causes.

The first time cancer struck Frances Ladner’s family was in 1983 when her sister, then 24, was diagnosed with ALL leukemia. “She fought her battle with grace and dignity,” Ladner recalls. “Bobbi was a nurse. She love to take care of others. After a three-year battle, she left us at the age of 27.”

In 2007, cancer struck Ladner’s family again: three times. “My husband was diagnosed with bone cancer in January and was just getting used to the shock and everything that’s goes along with treatment when in March my father was diagnosed with lung cancer,” Frances remembers. “It was quite difficult but we all managed. My husband continues maintenance chemo and my father is an 8-year cancer survivor.”


The third and hardest blow came at the end of that year. “In November our beloved Daniel was 18 and had just started college when I heard the worst news of my life,” she said. “I received a phone call from the doctor that my son’s blood tests showed something very serious. He told me Daniel needed to see an oncologist. My heart dropped.” That afternoon she learned that Daniel had APL leukemia, a rare but treatable cancer. Daniel was admitted into the hospital to start treatment on a Thursday. “We brought everything he needed for a short stay,” she recalls. “But God had other plans. Daniel started having complications on Friday afternoon, which was something no one ever thought would happen because was young and otherwise healthy. He died a few days later.”

Konnie Vong, owner of Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym, shares a bond with Frances Ladner. Her husband, Gary Peterson, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011 and died in October 2014. With Konnie’s support, in his last three years Gary put incredible passion into building Shirlee’s into the top-notch gym it is today. Many of us at Shirlee’s, both members and employees, remember Gary for his upbeat attitude, his drive to succeed in all his endeavors, his commitment to health and fitness, and his genuine compassion for others.

Like Frances and Konnie, most of us have felt the blow that cancer strikes, either to ourselves or to a loved one. In June we have an opportunity to unite and honor those who lives have been touched by cancer by joining team D-Ladner ❤️ Shirlee’s.  “As Daniel’s mom I’ve made it my fight to stand up and pay it forward so others never have to hear those words, ‘You have cancer,’” said Ladner.

“Shirlee’s is all about supporting each other,” added Vong. “We support each other’s personal fitness goals, and we support our community in the fight against cancer. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for the American Cancer Society.”

Join Our Team.  Registered team members walk around a track and participate in activities during the event, which takes place all day Saturday and into Sunday morning. Team members can camp out overnight. To join the team or to learn more, visit our Relay page.

Make a Contribution. You do not have to attend the relay to help.  You can pledge online to our team or drop off a contribution at Shirlee’s front desk. Every single donation counts! If half the members at Shirlee’s gave $5, we would surpass our goal.

Buy ShirleeStrong.  Shirlee’s is selling special “ShirleeStrong” bracelets at the front desk for $2 as well as other mechandise. We will also be offering specials on memberships, massage and personal training. A portion of proceeds from all sales will go toward Team D-Lad ❤️ Shirlee’s.

If you have questions or would like to help our efforts by volunteering, please call Konnie at (909) 985-6400.  Thank you.

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Show Us Some Love! You May Win a Prize.


Show Us Some Love!

Here at Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym, we love our members . . . and we hope you will “LIKE” us back on Facebook.

Our FB page is a place where we give notify you about news and the latest specials at the club.  We share posts that will make you laugh and smile and feel motivated. If you are already a Shirlee’s FB fan, thank you! We appreciate your support. If you have not already liked the Shirlee’s FB page, please take a minute to do so now.

As an added incentive: you could win a prize!  We have about 850 “LIKES” so far. . . . when we reach 1,000, we will enter the names of all our members who are fans into a drawing for a special prize.  So LIKE us now, and tell your fellow members!

If you have friends who are thinking about joining Shirlee’s, tell them to “like” our page as well, as they will be eligible for our “March Madness” New Member FB Special.

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Change of Heart Event Feb 18

feb 18 change of heart flier

Ladies, you won’t want to miss fun, fitness, and fabulous raffle prizes at Shirlee’s on Wednesday, Feb 18. We will be hosting a Change of Heart event to benefit the American Heart Association’s Go RED for Women.

Change of Heart is a grass roots program presented by SELF Magazine to teach women about heart disease, the number one cause of death for women, and motivate them to improve their heart health. This event is open to our members and the public, so please tell your friends and neighbors. For $20 participants receive:

  • a year’s subscription to SELF Magazine
  • a SELF water bottle
  • a raffle ticket and a chance to win great prizes from Nordstrom and local businesses
  • full use of our gym for the day
  • Pinkberry yogurt
  • Heart health tips

We will also have special events, such as:

To register, stop by the front desk or call (909) 985-6400.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease causes one in three deaths of women each year.  It is more deadly than all forms of cancer, killing approximately one woman every minute.  Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease, and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen. The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood. While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.

“We are proud to open our facility and host a Change of Heart day,” said Vong. “The event is a fun way for us to bring together our members and the community to educate women about heart disease, fitness, and health.”

Our goal is to raise $1,000. On behalf of Shirlee’s and our members, thank you for your support of this event to raise money for the American Heart Association.

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Giving Back


Every organ in your body depends on your heart.  As it pumps, this muscle provides oxygen and nutrients to everything else.  At Shirlee’s, our members take cardio classes to strengthen heart health. But the women who work out at our gym have another kind of heart as well: compassion for others. We at Shirlee’s are just as proud of the way our members exercise this kind of heart.

This year we sponsored three fundraising drives for health-related causes. Our members responded with generosity. Here are the amounts raised:

Relay for Life American Cancer Society—more than $1,000
City of Hope Breast Cancer Blood Drive Event—more than $2,500
Salvation Army Bake Sale—more than $500 and a truck-load of food and clothes.

Wow! More than $4,000 was donated to our community with the help of our members, family and friends.

For some people, meeting a fundraising goal can seem as daunting as reaching a fitness goal. Curing cancer, for example, or providing for the poor among us, seems an impossible challenge.  Why even bother to try?  What many of our members have found, however, is that being part of a strong, positive community makes all the difference. We cheer each other on. The same attitude that helps us reach fitness goals inspires us to meet fundraising goals.

Thank you so much to our members who gave, and in doing so motivated others to follow their lead. Special thanks for donations made by Mary Lamb, Carol and Richard Anderson, Karen and Bob Sorosky, Shirlee’s Aqua Elites, De Marie Bottai and many more.  Every dollar counts.  We hope to increase our efforts on these causes next year so as a team we can help even more. Shirlee’s also recently established the ShirleeStrong Membership Fund to help pay for gym memberships for women from our community who have cancer or other health issues who would otherwise be unable to afford membership. We welcome you to join us in our outreach by making a donation.

Just as the pumping of your heart provides sustenance for the rest of your body, the generous giving of our members supports the well being of the common good. For more information on any of the causes we support, please call (909) 985-6400.

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