Category Archives: ShirleeStrong

How Shirlee’s gives back to our community

ShirleeStrong! Giving Back

Because we are a local small business (not a chain), we want to be good neighbors. As a gym exclusively for women, Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym is committed to supporting causes that improve the health and empower the lives of women and girls in our community.

Examples of causes we support include:

The Susan G. Komen Foundation to help find a cure for breast cancer
National Charity League Foothill Chapter to support its scholarship program for young women
City of Hope to hold blood drives
Relay for Life Upland to raise money for cancer research
Local Schools to raise money for sports teams
Community Senior Services to help local seniors stay in their homes
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. You can donate online or come in to the gym. For more information, please call (909) 985-6400. Thank you for your support.


Shirlee’s Supports Megan’s Wings



Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym is a proud sponsor of the 12th Annual Megan’s Wings 5K Run, which will be held Saturday, September 24, 2016 in McCarthy Park in Upland. Megan’s Wings is a non profit dedicated to helping the families of local kids with cancer.

To register for the event, visit Participants can set up their own fundraising page on the site.

The event will include a 1 K Walk/Run and a 5K Walk/Run.

8 am – 1K Kids Run (12 & under – Seniors welcome too!)

8:30 am – 5K (Fun for the whole family!)

The theme for this year is “Get Your Rock Star On!” and participants are encouraged to dress like a rock star.

Local businesses that want to donate in kind services or items for a raffle can fill out a form on the web site.

All proceeds from Megan’s Race help pay bills and temporary housing for childhood cancer families and support research to find better treatments and cures. Megan’s Wings is a 501c3 charity and all donations are 100% tax deductible.

“As a local fitness club, Shirlee’s is happy to support local children with cancer,” said Shirlee’s owner, Konnie Vong.  “I hope to see many of our members at the race.”

xMap of 5K-Route


Posted in News, ShirleeStrong | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Shirlee’s Supports Megan’s Wings

Save the Date!



Mark Your Calendars! Shirlee’s will be hosting a “Celebration of Women’s Health” for Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Saturday October 1, from 10 am to 2 pm.  The free event is open to the public and is also sponsored by Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and InterValley Health Plan. We will have free screening, demonstrations, fitness tips and more.  Plan in advance to be there on the first day of October.…

Posted in News, ShirleeStrong, Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Save the Date!

Shirlee’s Supports The Roman Fund

Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym is a proud Gold Sponsor at the August 6, 2016 gala of the Roman Fund, an Upland nonprofit established last year that helps local children with special needs get proper assessment, diagnosis, and services to which they are legally entitled. The group also provides financial support for those families that are in need and qualify.

The Roman Fund was established by Roland and Jenny Martinez in honor of their son, Roman Martinez, who died at age 12 when he was struck and killed riding his motorized scooter in front of their Upland home the day after Christmas, 2014.

Roland’s mom describes her son’s story on the foundation’s website:

Roman Alexander Martinez, a bright young boy who was diagnosed with ADHD and an anxiety disorder at a very young age, had hearing problems and speech issues. He had difficulties with comprehension, making it hard for him to express himself. He started struggling in the first and second grades, as the school material became more challenging. In second grade, Roman was severely bullied, was placed on Home/Hospital Instruction (one-to-one instruction provided at the home or hospital by the school district) and placed him on many medications. The bullying continued for more than five years. My husband Roland and I tried repeatedly to work with school personnel, but the bullying did not stop, and Roman suffered both emotionally and educationally.

When Roman was eight years old, we sought the help of an advocate, Christopher Russell with Advocates on Behalf of Children, who knew our parental rights and helped us undertake the long and arduous battle to get Roman the services he needed. By then, Roman had very low self-esteem and did not want to live. Finally, in January 2014, just weeks before he turned 12 years old, Roman transferred to Frostig School in Pasadena, with district-provided transportation to and from our home.

At the new school, Roman acclimated very well. During the summer, he stopped taking all antidepressant medications, and when school started in August, he was a happy boy. We had our old Roman back, and he was making good progress, both academically and socially. He even had a girlfriend. The Frostig teachers said he was thriving, cheerful and more content than ever.

On December 26, 2014, Roman was the happiest boy in town.  He shared with his friends that he got everything he wanted for Christmas, including an electric scooter. He told us he wanted to ride his scooter down the street to the dam, and he would be back soon. When Roman rode out of our driveway, he was struck by a speeding car. A neighbor boy and his parents heard the accident and called 911. The boy recognized that it was Roman with his new scooter, and hurried to our house to tell us about the accident. We immediately ran out, and firemen already were working on Roman. The only things I got to say to Roman were “Mommy is here” and “I love you.” His father touched his arm as he lay in road and said that he loved him and he was going to be okay.  Roman was life-flighted to Loma Linda Children’s Hospital, but he died in the helicopter within an hour after the accident.

As parents, our lives are shattered and our hearts are broken forever. He was the love of our lives.  We fought to get help for Roman from the time he was a baby, and we want his legacy to live on by helping other children who struggle in school academically and who are bullied. Parents often do not know their children’s rights for appropriate schooling. Sometimes schools and school districts do not inform parents about available educational opportunities, and schools continue to place children with unique needs in regular programs and just pass them along.

The Roman Fund, Inc. mission is to provide parents of children who struggle academically or socially and/or who are bullied at school with an advocate to help secure appropriate educational services and placements. Last year the Roman Fund helped four local families

The Roman Fund, Inc. is not limited to assisting children with special needs, such as Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, Dyslexia, or other diagnoses. It also reaches out to parents of children who struggle with reading, writing, comprehension of oral and written language, physical and emotional issues, and other areas for which children need help.

Contact The Roman Fund for more information, questions or consultation on applications or to make a donation.

Posted in News, ShirleeStrong | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Shirlee’s Supports The Roman Fund

Relay For Life May 21



Shirlee’s Ultimate Women’s Gym invites you to join Team D-Lad  ❤ Shirlee’s at Upland’s Relay for Life on Saturday, May 21 in 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.

“We are so proud of our members for helping us to sponsor a ShirleeStrong Team at the Upland Relay for Life in the past couple of years,” said Vong. “Together we raised more than $1,000 each year and we hope to do the same this year.”

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 9-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.  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.”

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. If you make a donation, you will be entered in our raffle for a great prize.

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



Posted in News, ShirleeStrong, Special Events | Comments Off on Relay For Life May 21

Over the Edge for Seniors

OverTheEdgeEvent0033-SShirlee’s members helped push gym owner Konnie Vong over the edge of a 10-story building . . .  but don’t worry, it was all in the name of a good cause!

Community Senior Services (CSS), a local nonprofit, celebrated 40 years of helping local seniors with a fundraising challenge. Donors who contributed $1,000 got the chance to rappel down the 10-story Ontario Airport Hotel. Shirlee’s members helped Konnie reach her goal, and she was one of the first of 75 people to rappel the building on Saturday, December 5, 2015.

CSS helps seniors by providing volunteers, information, resources and communities. “I am proud of the members who supported me by donating to Community Senior Services so that I could rappel,” said Vong. “We were happy to support such a worthy nonprofit that serves local seniors.” Shirlee’s supports a number of causes throughout the year as part of the gym’s ShirleeStrong outreach to the community.

See the slide show of the rappel below.

CSS is planning to hold another Over the Edge event next year.  If you are interested in rappelling or 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


Posted in News, ShirleeStrong | Comments Off on Over the Edge for Seniors

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…

Posted in News, ShirleeStrong, Special Events | Comments Off on Help Seniors, and send Konnie over the Edge

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



Posted in News, ShirleeStrong, Special Events | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Power of Pink

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.”



Posted in News, ShirleeStrong | Comments Off on Relay for Life Team Meets $5,000 Goal

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!


Posted in News, ShirleeStrong | Comments Off on Blood Drive Tuesday June 23