More info and Summary of the National Fitness Champaign Scam

By: Diane Benjamin

The National Fitness Campaign installation was not bid out. I previously posted a picture of equipment from another company who courted Normal:

The FOIA I received had yet a third company:

No mention was made at the Council meeting about these two other companies. It appears Doug Damery, head of Parks and Rec, took it on himself to pick the most difficult to use, training and an app for instructions are required:

Why did he choose this one? Because he is the Chairman of the Board for Illinois Park and Rec Association (IPRA) and they partnered with National Fitness Campaign. More proof:

Doug Damery failed to disclose his relationship with IPRA at the January 4, 2022 Council meeting!

I know I’ve done a lot of stories on this, more information keeps coming to light. Below is a list of what we know:

  • Outdoor fitness equipment was not bid out or even discussed by the Council. The Council should have been allowed to see other easier to use equipment and make decisions based on all the facts
  • Spending $155,000 without competitive bidding violates the Town purchasing policy ($180,000 – $25,000 grant)
  • Doug Damery failed to disclose IPRA is partnered with NFC and he is the Chair of IPRA’s Board of Directors
  • Doug Damery, Pam Reece, and Chris Koos misled the Council about the tax status of National Fitness Campaign – they aren’t a non-profit
  • National Fitness Campaign teamed up with IPRA to target heads of Parks and Rec that are members of IPRA. IPRA and their foundation get a kickback for every installation.
  • Scott Preston would not have voted YES is he had known NFC wasn’t a non-profit. Since Karyn Smith was absent the vote would have been a tie, NFC would now be dead.
  • At least 2 other outdoor fitness companies contacted Doug Damery, the Council was never allowed to consider other options
  • Doug Damery violated the Town of Normal purchasing policy and ethics by presenting NFC to the Council when he had a personal interest in the project through IPRA
  • Chris Koos didn’t get his “non-profit” information from NFC, he got it from Escondido, Ca who have since changed their inaccurate information
  • Kevin McCarly lied at the January 18, 2022 Council meeting during his end of meeting comment. Since Koos had already called for a motion to adjourn and had one, McCarthy shouldn’t have been allowed to spew his misinformation. (Nord wouldn’t have been)
  • Materially false information was used to pass this item, it should be immediately repealed

All previous stories, the oldest is at the bottom:


Damery costs Normal taxpayers while working his second position

Want to see what a scan looks like?

Truth Reveals: Koos used a false site for information

Message to Trustee McCarthy


Some People Will fall For Anything


10 thoughts on “More info and Summary of the National Fitness Champaign Scam

  1. I blame the Democrat machine for electing people who lack the moral decency to tell the truth. Since we have a council and mayor that lie then of course we have a manager and staff that think lying is acceptable. The culture is defined from the top down.

    1. Republicans are far from being immune to the same problems. These problems are not that cut and dry. What this comes down to is those who view government as a means of getting what you want verses those who want government to leave us alone. Normal, Illinois is filled with people who view government as a means of getting the stuff you want. I’m hard pressed to name a single project in Normal that does not come with some type of matching government grant attached to it or some private / public partnership agreement.

  2. Doug Damery should be fired, McCarthy should be prohibited from doing business with the Town of Normal and Pam -n- Koos should be ashamed.

  3. Nothing will happen. Preston voted to spend millions of tax dollars over the years so Koos could sell more bikes and never said squat. Mark my word, Damery will get away with sending kickbacks to the company he Chairs.
    Preston making this an “issue” is merely political theatre for his State Rep run. Koos is dragging this out so Preston can get free press out of this. Koos has enough rubber stampers for this to re-pass without Preston. Notice Preston is not pushing for staff to stop spending time on this because that would derail this.

    1. Any council member who votes with the majority can bring an item back for reconsideration. Scott should have insisted it be on the agenda.

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