Inside Danko's All American fitness center in Plains Township it took a small crowd and a cake to deliver a special thank you to personal trainer Ernie Baul.
"Sit down and have some cake," said Aaron. "I have to train people," said Ernie.
The former Navy seal now 72 years old is still at the gym 7 days a week giving instruction. Aaron Iben is one of his pupils.
"Something like this doesn't even add up at all to what he deserves, So it's special to have everybody here to surprise him. He is like a father figure and for a lot of us he calls us his losers because we couldn't find our way and then Ernie comes and comes along and helps us reach goals that no idea we could," again said Aaron.
"Well yes I do. Like Dave there, Stephanie and all these guys they work hard for what they want, and they are accomplishing their goal. It takes them awhile but there's no time limit on it," again said Ernie.
Ernie has trained many popular people over the years. Mr. Universe Ron Coleman, pro football player Mike Munchak, Joe Amato and Stephanie Jallen.
"Certainly he has done a lot for a lot of people around here and really helped training especially you. What kind of tokens and devotion do you give to him? I've been working with Ernie now for almost 11 years and he has been everything to me. He's been my rock, my determination, my inspiration, and he made my the athlete and the women I am today," said Stephanie.
For 40 years Ernie has met the challenge whether it's training the troops overseas or giving his time to those who need it the most here at home.
"I like what I do. I mean I like it take a look. How could you be like Damon. Stephanie there. The only one-armed one leg skier in the world an accomplished all that she has and no one said she could," added Ernie.
"He is going to yell at all of us later for eating cake but it's nice to appreciate the people around you. You don't realize how much someone means to you, and sit back and really look, and I'm really glad we had the time to thank him today," added Stephanie.
Steve Lloyd reporting for Newswatch 16 sports in Luzerne County.