Teen Lifeline to honor Mountainside Fitness CEO and founder

Teen Lifeline is honoring Mountainside Fitness CEO and Founder Tom Hatten  for his charitable community involvement during the organization’s  2016 Connections of Hope event.

Tom Hatten

Tom Hatten

The 13th Annual Connections of Hope is a night to celebrate and raise funds for the “connections of hope” found daily by at-risk youth that call or text Teen Lifeline’s peer-to-peer hotline and are reached by its statewide suicide awareness and prevention outreach. The event takes place 6 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Monetelucia.

Having founded the largest locally owned health club chain in Arizona, Mr. Hatten has been featured in such publications as Entrepreneur, US News & World Report, Forbes and was named Business Journal/USA Today’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1996.

With only $2,000 and an idea, Mr. Hatten opened the first Mountainside Fitness in 1991 at the age of 22. Since then he has turned Mountainside Fitness into an Arizona staple with 15 locations and an ever expanding clientele. He also serves as a motivational speaker to students at Arizona’s public universities, teaching students about entrepreneurship, economics and community involvement in business.

“For the past 30 years this incredible organization has done so much to help support Arizona’s teens in times of crisis,” said Mr.  Hatten. “It is my extreme honor to be this year’s Connections of Hope Teen Lifeline Honoree and I hope this opportunity will bring more awareness to our community, Mountainside Fitness and it’s more than 60,000 members and 1100 employees.”

With all his success, he values giving back to the community by supporting a variety of local causes and charities. Currently, he is on the executive council for the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and the board of directors of AZ Make-A-Wish.

“When you think about what this award stands for – being a community role model, an aspiring leader, and giving back in the service of others – Tom stands out as someone worthy of the honor,” said Michelle Moorhead, executive director of Teen Lifeline.

“From promoting general health and wellness through Mountainside Fitness, to speaking and motivating students about the importance of being earnest, to serving on nonprofit boards, Tom is a true role model that inspires others to reach for their dreams, not give up, and work hard to make our community stronger.”

Last year’s event raised over $500,000 to help continue to fund the peer-to-peer hotline and Teen Lifeline hopes to exceed that at its 2016 event. All funds help Teen Lifeline empower youth and save lives through the hotline 602-248-8336 (TEEN), and through community outreach presentations.

Connections of Hope celebrates Arizona youth by highlighting stories and entertainment performed by local teens. Chaired by Susie Alofs of Out of the Blue Excursions, the evening includes a delectable dinner, entertainment by musical guest 3NATIONS, and a live and silent auction and the opportunity to support Teen Lifeline’s mission of erasing teen suicide.

Teen Lifeline is a crisis hotline for teens that helps them with stress and coping, grief and loss and depression and suicide. Teens can call the hotline 24/7 and speak to a crisis counselor 365 days a year.  Local teens volunteer to take calls and text messages in the evening after school to provide peer counseling and a person the callers can relate to.  Last year alone Teen Lifeline received 16,000 calls.

Tickets start at $250 per person and sponsorship packages ranging from $3,000 to $25,000 are available.

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