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(Posted 11:30 a.m., June 10)
Special guests pack them in at Greco's grand opening

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

A young visitor to the Greco Lean and Fit Studio in Orléans poses for a photo with Philadelphia Flyers all-star Claude Giroux during the Greco's grand opening and open house on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/photo

It never hurts to have friends with a little bit of celebrity status, especially when you're marking the grand opening of a new business venture.

Orléans Greco Lean and Fit co-owner Zach Neilson called upon a couple of his closest friends on Sunday to mark the grand opening of the fitness studio, and not surprisingly it created quite a buzz.

NHL all-star Claude Giroux and Philadelphia Flyers teammate Jason Akeson dropped by to pose for a few pictures and signed some autographs, but the most popular special guest judging by the number of people who wanted to be photographed with him was Emmett Blois from Big Brother Canada.

Wearing his trademark white Stetson, Blois happily signed autographe and smiled broadly as girls both young and old alike posed for a photo with him.

Blois met Neilson at St. Mary's Univeristy in Halifax where they were third year roommates. They've been close friends ever since, so when Neilson asked him to come to the grand opening, Blois happily said yes.

"Before I went into the (Big Brother) house I knew he was opening a gym so when I came out everything was still a go, so when he asked me if I would come up for the opening I said, 'Sure, anything I can do to help'," said Blois adding, "I know it's going to be a great success."

Giroux and Neilson met playing bantam hockey together for the Cumberland Barons. In fact, Neilson was the first friend Giroux made after he moved to Orléans from his Hearst, Ontario in 2002.

"Zach was the first guy I met when I moved her from Hearst. We hit it off right away and we've been friends ever since," said Giroux. "When he told me he was going to open a Greco's gym in Orléans I thought it was a great idea, I've been working with Tony Greco for a couple of years now and the Lean and Fit program is a great program that really works."

For his part, Neilson was thrilled to have his buddies on hand to help mark the grand opening of Greco Lean and Fit's newest location.

"They've been amazing. I'm fortunate to have friends who will drop what they're doing and help me out," said Neilson.

The Greco Lean and Fit Studio in Orleans offers a wide array of programs, all designed to make their members increase their fitness level so they can lead healthier lives. For more information visit www.grecoleanandfit.com/greco_Location_Orleans.php.

Orléans Greco Lean and Fit co-owner Zach Neilson (centre) with his buddies (l to r) Jason Akeson, Emmett Blois and Claude Giroux. Fred Sherwin/photo

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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