Date: March 10, 2010

Contact: Tracy Lynott – Director, Development
443.702.3016 email:

Big Vanilla Athletic Club Celebrates 10 Years of Giving To Bello Machre
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MARYLAND: Bello Machre celebrates its 10 year partnership with the Big Vanilla Athletic Club. For over 10 years, Larry Ray, Owner and President of the Big Vanilla Athletic Club, has been donating club memberships to the Bello Machre direct care staff who live in the homes, as well as providing the Big Vanilla Climbing Wall for its annual Every Step Counts event. In 2009, the Club’s complimentary membership donation totaled over $17,000. Larry Ray commented, “Bello Machre is a wonderful organization, and I have a special place in my heart for the folks they serve.” In addition, Bello Machre was the host charity for the Club’s Annual 2009 Holiday Bazaar with proceeds totaling $1,000. Dr. Robert T. Ireland, President and CEO, commented, “Larry Ray and the Big Vanilla Athletic Club have been strong supporters of Bello Machre for many years. We are especially grateful for their ongoing commitment to our mission and our employees.”
Larry Ray, President and owner of Big Vanilla, is a long-term Anne Arundel County resident. In the late 1970s, Larry enrolled at Anne Arundel Community College with the goal of owning and operating a fitness club. After graduating Larry went on to own and co-own three clubs in the Baltimore metropolitan area, before buying the fitness portion of the Big Vanilla in 1988. In 1998 he purchased the real estate and tennis portion of the club, bringing the vision and management of all facets of the club under one person. Under his leadership the club has expanded wellness, senior wellness, personal training, sports training, martial arts, children’s programming and aquatics.    
The Big Vanilla Athletic Club’s focus is family, fun and fitness. The staff is dedicated to servicing its members with a variety of programs to keep them having fun while getting fit. Big Vanilla is a fitness, wellness and recreation center with the expertise, inspiration and amenities to assist in the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. The Big Vanilla Athletic Club has two locations – Severna Park and Pasadena, Maryland. The Pasadena club opened its new 100,000 sq. ft. facility April 2007. The Arnold club is an 80,000 square foot enclosed area located on 7 acres. 
Bello Machre, founded in 1972, means Home of My Heart in Gaelic. It is a non-profit organization in Anne Arundel County, Maryland that provides homes and support to children, teens, adults, and seniors with developmental disabilities. More importantly, Bello Machre enriches the lives of those served through loving care, guidance, and opportunity so that they can live life to its fullest. Employing 300 skilled professionals, Bello Machre serves 175 people in its 54 community-based homes throughout Central Maryland. Through its Support Services Programs, Bello Machre provides help and support to more than 150 individuals and families in their own homes. The Ray of Hope Program provides annual grants to help individuals and families obtain respite care, specialized summer camp, physical therapy, and specialized equipment. Its Respite Care Home provides residential support during family hospitalizations, emergencies, and vacations—24-hours a day, seven days a week. Bello Machre serves children and adults without regard to race, religion, gender, or national origin.