Members of the Redlands Community College Fitness Center now have more options when working out. Thanks to several generous donations, the college was able to purchase two new pieces of exercise equipment to add to the fitness center: a rowing machine and a recumbent bike.
Donations were given on behalf of Harold Hale, a former state representative and big supporter of Redlands’ Fitness for Life and Silver Sneakers programs. Hale passed away Feb. 12, 2018, at the age of 81. In lieu of flowers, he requested that donations be made to the Redlands Community College Foundation in order to support the college fitness center, one of his favorite places.
A ‘big heart’
Hale was an avid golfer and active Fitness for Life member. He showed great concern for staff and students alike, going so far as purchasing golf balls for an international student to practice the sport.
“Harold had a big heart for the students, especially ones who were from out of state or international, whose families weren’t here,” said Anna Rinehart, Redlands health instructor. “He would always try to improve the lives of others around him.”
The impact Hale made on students went beyond fitness. He would also try to motivate them academically.
Rinehart continued, “If I could describe him in one word it would be inspirational. He always wanted to know the next mountain you were getting ready to climb. If students were graduating, he would want to know what tools they needed to get over the mountain. And if he could, he would provide the tools.”
Gone but not forgotten
The fitness center at Redlands Community College is unlike your typical gym. There, you are treated as family. People notice if you miss a day. They call to check on you.
Hale was no exception. The moment he walked through the door, everyone was instantly happier.
Fitness for Life member Cindy Stover said, “The second Harold would walk in the door, he was always so happy to see you. He kept encouraging me to keep working out and keep moving, and inspired everyone to keep working out no matter the age.”
Even after his passing, Hale continued to show love for others by requesting donations be made to the college fitness center. Because of his thoughtfulness and the respect he had earned within the community, $2,800 was raised for the college to purchase new exercise equipment. Additionally, Rob Goff with PR Fitness Equipment was kind enough to work with the college on delivery charges to help stay within budget. Perhaps this was more help from Redlands’ guardian angel Hale.
Plaques were attached to the machines that read “In memory of Harold Hale.” Another nod to Hale is that of adding fans to both machines. During the summer, Hale would collect fans and distribute them within the community to make sure people could stay cool. Through this small gesture, Hale once again demonstrated genuine concern for everyone. One look at a fan reminds you of that fact.
Community fitness center
Hale was a fitness center member and Silver Sneakers participant for many years. The Redlands Community College Fitness Center is open to the public. Just like Hale, others can benefit from the camaraderie members have built. The center is a place where you can not only improve your health, but also a place to make friends for life. Hale’s memory continues to live on through others.
“Harold’s passion for life was exemplified when he shared his heart with others. He was always interested in everyone else. I think part of his longevity is that he truly cared about you when he asked you how you were. And once he met you, you were a friend for life,” said Rinehart.
The Redlands Community College Fitness for Life program is a non-credit community service which provides access to the fitness wellness center, racquetball court and walking area in the gym during specified times periods. The Silver Sneakers chair class is taught with an instructor from 10 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Participants use an exercise band, exercise ball and hand weights. For more information, please contact Peggy Ward in the Athletic Office at 405-422-1418.
Donations are still being accepted. If you would like to donate, please send contributions to the Redlands Community College Foundation c/o Dayna Rowe, 1300 S. Country Club Road, El Reno, Okla. 73036.