The mission of B22Fit is to provide an entire campus dedicated to offering health, physical fitness, sports, mobility encouragement and clean nutrition education and training to Central Louisiana. B22Fit is located on the campus of Dry Prong High School and Dry Prong Jr. High which was abandoned in 2011. For seven years the campus continued to ruin and dilapidate and create an eye sore for the entire community. I had started a ladies' garage and backyard gym at my home in 2012. We called ourselves - B22 - because we wanted to "Be 22 Forever, and never grow up!" We had so many ladies who enjoyed coming together, working out, and encouraging each other that we quickly overg... read more The mission of B22Fit is to provide an entire campus dedicated to offering health, physical fitness, sports, mobility encouragement and clean nutrition education and training to Central Louisiana. B22Fit is located on the campus of Dry Prong High School and Dry Prong Jr. High which was abandoned in 2011. For seven years the campus continued to ruin and dilapidate and create an eye sore for the entire community. I had started a ladies' garage and backyard gym at my home in 2012. We called ourselves - B22 - because we wanted to "Be 22 Forever, and never grow up!" We had so many ladies who enjoyed coming together, working out, and encouraging each other that we quickly overgrew my home facility. We started a building fund in 2017. In January of 2018, the campus was put up for sale. After having it checked out by a civil, electrical, and environmental engineer, against the recommendations of my friends and relatives, I purchased seven buildings on campus on March 1, 2018. The community came together and offered donations of money and labor. Together we were able to first restore and revitalize the gym. It became the hub for B22Fit, offering cross training, boot camp, powerlifting, basketball, performance training, volleyball, Hoover Ball and open gym workouts. We grew from 25 to 325 members in the past two years. In the fall of 2018, we started renovating the old music room and it is now our yoga and dance studio. We have two certified yoga instructors who offer yoga to men and women of all ages. I am an insurance defense attorney by occupation. I have owned Armour Law Firm since I formed it in 2002. In 2018, I had 3 locations. I closed my Natchitoches, Louisiana branch and moved it to the B22 campus. We turned the old principal's office into the only law firm in our rural parish of Grant. I was asked by the local village town counsel in 2018 to serve as the village attorney and the Magistrate. I have served as an Assistant District Attorney in Grant Parish since 2005. Unbeknownst to me, we have high number of people in our area who have Parkinson's disease. Our former sheriff was struggling with Parkinson's disease and his doctor recommended a group called Rock Steady Boxing at Louisiana Tech University. Tech, however, was almost two hours away so his family came to me and asked if I would research and examine the program. After researching and evaluating the worldwide program, I formed, founded, and became Chairman of the Board of B22 Rock Steady boxing. I have also obtained my Rock Steady Boxing certification in coaching Parkinson's athletes. Our program has grown from 2 to 25 members. If COVID-19 would not have slowed our progress, we would have a larger group. In forming B22, I had no idea that our backyard group would grow to men, children, families, and senior citizens. I had no idea the impact it would make on our community and the needs that needed to be met. B22Fit invited ladies from Louisiana Adult and Teen Challenge to workout at the gym with us in the fall of 2019. The substance abuse program is located 20 minutes north of B22. The ladies began to come for organized group bootcamp and yoga training. In getting to know these ladies, I found out that when they complete the program some of them have no safe place to go. My heart was burdened with finding a way to meet this need. There were other buildings on campus that could offer housing. I began to research and find ways to help. In December of 2019, I organized and formed Chesed House and became Chairman of the board. Seeing the need for an outdoor complex for our youth, I formed B22 Sports Complex (a 501c3 nonprofit) in February of 2020. When COVID-19 hit the country, we were forced to stay at home. I, however, continued to work in the law practice and started to remodel another building. I realized during COVID-19 that many women (like my backyard) want to workout away from men. When we re-opened in May of 2020, B22 opened the lil' gym on the hill for Ladies' Only Bootcamp. This has been an incredible success and has already helped so many. COVID-19 also opened my eyes to how important mobility, nutrition, and physical fitness is to avoiding and fighting disease. With our re-opening, many of the older people wanted to social distance and be in an air conditioned environment. Our 18,000 square foot gym is only cooled by fans. Our Rock Steady Boxing group were socially distanced to the yoga room and our senior citizens "Coffee Club" group were socially distanced to the Lil' gym on the hill. The yoga room and the lil gym are just not large enough to properly accommodate these groups. Fortunately, I was able to obtain an SBA loan and on July 1, 2020, I purchased the remaining buildings on campus and the large ball field area that we were only leasing. In the matter of weeks, we have created an apartment for our first Chesed House intern who starts our internship program of living and working on campus on August 15, 2020. We have ordered mats and power lifting equipment for our outdoor (socially distancing) weight lifting area, and we have started the renovation process of a 8,200 ft indoor air conditioned handicapped "railed" 3-lane walking/jogging track and cardio center. We are looking for assistance in funding the flooring. We have obtained estimates from $75,000 to $150,000 for flooring and installation. This indoor facility will provide a place to expand our B22 Rock Steady Boxing Parkinson's program, our Coffee Club senior citizen's program, to develop a cardiac rehabilitation program, and sports performance classes for students. In the July 2020 purchase, we also obtained a 10,000 square ft facility and we are trying to also obtain funding for an indoor soccer and multi-sports facility with drop down pitching and batting cages. We are also working with local businesses and foundations to obtain help to construct restrooms, concession stand, announcers box and lighting for our outdoor sports complex. It is also our goal to obtain funding to help renovate the 1,000 seat auditorium. Our parish has no local auditorium and this would provide an opportunity to help schools, our community, and B22 with a place for education, lectures, symposiums, simulcasting (we signed a contract today to get fiber technology on our campus), arts and cultural development, and entertainment. B22 is also seeking help to fund Mended Grounds Coffee Shop, Cafe, and Catering. We will construct above the ground vegetable beds and our Chesed House interns will learn to grow, prepare, and serve healthy food to our patrons. It is our goal to have Mended Grounds Cafe provide healthy food choices for our community and also serve as a place to provide job training and education for our ladies in the Chesed House Internship program. We have also started renovating the old woodshop. It will serve as a beautiful place for gatherings, receptions, meetings, and social events. This will also provide opportunities for Mended Grounds to prepare and cater healthy food to members of our community. We also have Dry Prong Family Clinic on campus. It is our goal to work together to provide a campus dedicated to offering a safe place to meet their physical fitness, nutritional and educational goals. We are committed to serving our community and changing our world for the better one person, one building, one life at a time.
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