About Us

Our Approach

When you join our gym, you don’t just become a member of Memphis Rox, you become a member of our ever-growing community. Your ongoing support will expose hundreds of the city’s youth to a sport they otherwise might miss out on entirely. That’s the mission of Memphis Rox. We aren’t a climbing gym. We’re a family institution that uses climbing to bring people together, to foster community, and to create a culture of encouragement, empowerment, and accomplishment.

No one is ever turned away from Memphis Rox for their inability to pay. Those without the monetary means to climb have full access to our facility in exchange for volunteering at our gym, or at a local charity.  At Memphis Rox, we’re re-imagining currency.  It’s not just about money, but manpower; a willingness to give what one can, be it one’s time, talent, or simply an encouraging word.

Kai Lightner, Armani Brown, Isaiah Henderson
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Why Support Memphis Rox?

Because of you, Memphis Rox is an incredibly diverse community of climbers, friends, and family and is the most unique climbing gym in the country. In a year’s time, caring supporters have helped Memphis Rox to…

  • Provide 83 jobs to local youth and adults
  • Serve over 17,000 lunches, meals, and snacks to those in need
  • Offer after-school programming and mentoring for over 100 youth daily
  • Introduce 177,000 people to rock climbing and fitness
  • Contribute over 3000 volunteer hours for the community
  • Host 2 USAC national climbing competitions

Since we provide so many services without requiring payment, we operate the gym on a deficit and rely on the generosity of supporters who truly embrace our “pay-what-you-can” model.

Would YOU consider paying it forward with a $20 monthly donation to keep a kid climbing? Or perhaps you would like to make a one-time contribution to help feed the community…$5, $10, $100…Anything helps.

If you prefer to donate by mail, please send to:

MEMPHIS ROX
879 E McLemore Avenue
Memphis, TN 38106

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Juice Almighty

Inspired by Tom’s hit film, Bruce AlmightyJuice Almighty opened alongside (and inside!) Memphis Rox in the spring of 2018.  The Juice Bar and café provides healthy eating options at reasonable prices, from fruit smoothies and sandwiches to salads and Acai bowls, with no one turned away for an inability to pay.  If patrons cannot afford a meal, they “pay” by volunteering at the gym, assisting with neighborhood cleanups, or serving at another accredited non-profit. In year one, Juice Almighty served 17,000 “complimentary” meals to local youth, families, and guests, while teaching and exposing patrons to wholesome nutrition and healthy eating habits.

Next Steps...

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced climber, our state-of-the-art facility has a climb for you. There are no age restrictions and you will not be turned away regardless of your ability to pay. Everyone that enters the facility must complete a waiver. All waivers for minors must be completed by their parent or legal guardian. Please complete your waiver online prior to your visit for faster service.

Meet Tom Shadyac

Tom Shadyac is one of Hollywood’s all-time leading writer/directors. With credits including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Patch Adams and Bruce Almighty, his films have grossed nearly two billion dollars. But Hollywood isn’t the only place Tom calls home.

His father, Richard Shadyac, helped found St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital alongside comic Danny Thomas, while his brother, Rick Shadyac, is the current CEO of ALSAC, the hospital’s fundraising arm. Tom’s always walked with a kindred impetus to serve, but a cycling accident in 2007 would forever alter his path. After trading in his Malibu mansion for a mobile home, Tom made I AM, a documentary raising two questions: What’s wrong with the world? What can we do about it?

An answer to the latter question revealed itself when an opportunity to teach, first at the University of Memphis, and later at LeMoyne-Owen College, brought Tom to Memphis in 2013. Simply put, he fell in love.

“The students radiated and demonstrated such depth of soul, perseverance and courage,” he said. “I promised them one semester and never left.”

Tom’s Lemoyne-Owen students introduced him to the persistent challenges and pulsing promise of the Soulsville neighborhood. Soon after he purchased two bankrupt buildings that became Memphis Mountaintop Media: The first major nonprofit film studio where art, recreation, and apprenticeships empower the next generation of artists, leaders and entrepreneurs.

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