The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Coach Sonnon sent me this note.  Anyone who can contribute time, energy, money, or prayers is urged to do so.
Jodie and I had been busting our heads about how to put our action where our beliefs are regarding the recent US tragedy in the wake of Katrina. We were and are appalled at the ineffective and inexpedite relief "efforts" of the Bush Adminstration, so we decided to take matters into our own hands. If 'they' will not do something, WE will! We decided we are not going to pick up the family and go down to help out in-person, since we can have a much more significant impact by working to organize a massive relief seminar.

We've named it FITNESS AID, because I want to redefine what it means to be fit. What are we 'fit' FOR? Fit-ness is our ability to take effective and expedient action. What more dire circumstances could EVER require our action? What more crucial could we be "fit" for???

I spoke with my contact at the Red Cross Nat'l HQ. The Red Cross is behind FITNESS AID 100% and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Katrina victims.

I and my co-director, the Athletic Director at Western Washington University (a friend and a quality JKD practitioner), have organized a day long schedule of fitness workshops at WWU on Saturday, October 15th. There are some red tape hurdles to jump, but he's working to have the facility rental fee waived (a few thousand dollars of a contribution alone) to host the seminar where 100% of the proceeds go to the Red Cross Katrina relief effort in NOLA. He believes based upon prior events of this kind that we can generate up to a 1,000 participants, but at least a few hundred at $25/each.

This rapidly spirals larger than we could have hoped. We're working to secure several major contributors to this now collaborative event between RMAX International, Western Washington University, Bellingham Athletic Club, Bellingham YMCA and Haggen Grocery. It appears that this will exceed the 1,000 participants we had anticipated. We have the opportunity to raise up to $25,000 for the Katrina NOLA relief of our compatriots. With the local companies and now local gov't getting involved, it's projected that we can raise up to $150,000. If you can't think of any other way to contribute, please let me know if you or any of the people in your organization would be available to come to Bellingham, Washington on October 15th.

We're working to have Ryan Styles (of the Drew Carry Show and a Night at the Improv) to present as well. We're also working to have national FOX News coverage.

We'll be moving to our future site at as soon as we get the code online.

More to come. There is no holiday that could happen during such a crisis. We'll be burning the phones and pounding the pavement to make this the biggest fund raiser the fitness community has EVER mustered.

Although I've dealt with this size group before, I'd like to put the call out to any Instructors or Athletes who would like to make arrangements to be present, help out, participate or merely show support. PLEASE spread this on every forum and bulletin board that you know of! Those who are also Crossfit, RKC, Chek, or any other organization, please ask them to contact their organizations and extend the invitation to attend. If there are any instructors from your organization interested in volunteering to present at FITNESS AID, please ask them to email me at so we can block out a slot in the schedule (which is rapidly filling up!) They must supplement your own equipment above what the University has at its facility and/or provide alternative equipment ideas (like substituting dumbbells).

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