As I look back over so many of the posts I have written for our website, it’s startling to see how many have had to do with businesses that have permanently closed because of COVID-19.

It gets more and more sad as the days go by, especially because it’s more unnecessary as the days go by. At this point, keeping businesses closed is a political move for the benefit of Phil Murphy and his gleaming reputation and his shiny approval ratings and his brilliant political future.

I don’t know anyone who believes (even if they did in the beginning of this) that gyms should still be closed, but especially one that caters to kids only. This one is called My Gym. It’s a franchise that has become extremely successful in the United States and has a location in Monmouth County in Shrewsbury. What makes the closing of this location of My Gym so incredibly sad is that it was the dream of a 19-year-old entrepreneur.

Melissa Wilson, affectionately known as “Miss Melissa” to the tiny members of her establishment, has been the owner operator of this successful business since 1999 and she managed to grow it into a thriving gym business for kids ages seven months to seven years. The idea is to keep kids moving in the age of video games and screens galore; allow them to let off steam and excess energy by jumping, tumbling, laughing and breathing. Not just fitness classes, For 21 years, My Gym also held special events, birthday parties and a range of different classes designed to suit any kid.

Today I received a letter in my inbox from Miss Melissa announcing the permanent closing of her business. She makes no bones about the fact that it was COVID-19 that killed her dream. I wonder how Phil Murphy feels when he reads a letter like this.

Dear My Gym Families,

I hope this email finds all of you doing well. I know some of you have been wondering what our plans are for the fall and it is with a very heavy heart that I share with you today that My Gym Shrewsbury has permanently closed. Unfortunately, the financial impact of covid-19 proved far too great for us to overcome. That on top of operating at reduced capacity and during such uncertain times all led me to this difficult decision.

Many of you know that I started at My Gym Shrewsbury back in 1999 when I was only 19! I have been blessed to meet so many amazing children and parents over the past 21 years. I am so grateful for all the fond memories that I will carry with me forever and for all your support these past two decades. I will truly miss seeing all of your faces around the big, red circle and wish you all love, health and happiness.

Melissa Wilson- aka Miss Melissa :)

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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