LINCOLN PARK, Mich. (WJBK) - A local gym used a fundraiser to support children with cancer to lure new clients into a membership, but that membership didn't last long.
"I was extremely upset and I didn't have words, I had so many people contact me because I put my name on the front of the fundraiser," Carlos Regalado said.
Regalado organized a bench press competition for Relentless Detroit - a charity that supports families of children diagnosed with cancer. He gathered lifters from all over to take part in last Saturday's event at the Lincoln Park Powerhouse Gym.
Half the money would go to the gym, the other half to Relentless Detroit. It was hugely successful.
"Going into this even I noticed they dropped the price to join the gym to $99 and really pulling in people from the charity to sign up, and many people did," he said.
But as soon as the charity event was over - he says the owner, Al Ferris, closed down the Powerhouse Gym and slapped this sign on the door.
"When this happened all these people who signed up to give this gym a try, reached out to me asking why do we have to pay for a $100 membership we can't even use," Regalado said.
So many members reached out to FOX 2 saying they were duped by the gym. The flier recommends members transfer to the Oakwood facility but doesn't fully honor the membership and charges extra fees to join.
Fox 2 "What about the owner Al Ferris?" Regalado says he tried reaching out to him and he won't respond to anyone.
He hung up on FOX 2 and didn't answer the door at his last known address in Dearborn.
We're told this isn't the first time Ferris has done this. He has shut down two other gyms the same way but he still owns the Dearborn Racquet and Health Club.
At least Regalado was able to get the charity's money before the gym closed, but customers including him are out of a membership and money.
FOX 2; "Do you think he held this final competition to make a final buck?"
"I do," he said "I think it was a quick way to make quick money and close down,"