The Healthier Jupiter Mini-Grant served as a catalyst for our organization to bring the benefits of boxing – exercise, discipline, and fun – to young students throughout the Jupiter area. The boxing program brought together students from all walks of life. The best part was seeing students laugh and learn lessons that they will be able to take with them for the rest of their lives. I believe I speak for other volunteers and coaches when I say it is incredibly rewarding to see a student experience a light bulb moment when they see how they can apply lessons learned through sports and apply those lessons to their daily lives.
I am so grateful to have received my first ever grant from Healthier Neighbors in such a time of need. Also, I am grateful that my introduction to applying for a grant was smooth. As a recipient of the grant it has truly allowed me to make the necessary enhancements to my business for growth. During a pandemic so many people had to pivot personally and professionally, and my grant experience allowed me to do both. Not only was I applying for funds, I had to help others understand the importance of what GLOWrious Bath & Body was on a mission to do. The trainings provided, the encouragement given, and the sense of community definitely helped me charge forward. Fast forward, the funds has been exercised to great use by providing me with a more seamless interface to interact with my consumers. Lastly and more importantly, I have established and continue to build lasting relationships with those I’ve met along the journey. Again, I am so grateful that this experience has been pleasant and edifying.
I recently was really worried about the artist submissions for the ball. At first we have only 12 submissions. Then we had 24 submissions as of March 26. I was worried that we would not have a lot of people to sign up (since the Call to Art was over with on the 5th of April). Two days before the call ended, I was notified that we had over 108 submissions! This was all thanks to the marketing from myself, the reposting from different orgs like BeWell and the Arts Warehouse. I also spent time everyday emailing different artists and art galleries about the art call. So hard work pays off. On Friday, we started to narrow down the artwork. There are sooo many talented artists out there. Im so blessed to know that I played a small role in them submitting. Im happy they took the event seriously. Seeing 108 submissions really gave me back my motivation for the event.
For the Women Helping Women mini-grant, we’ve been very receptive in regards to client mental health needs during this difficult time as it relates to world affairs. Previously, we were offering virtual-only Zumba classes every Monday evening as a COVID-19 safety measure. Now that restrictions have been relaxed, we have recently been able to offer in-person Zumba classes at the park next to our site to great success. Originally, our numbers for virtual Zumba were small but steady. However, since we’ve started offering in-person classes, those numbers have been growing! Our participating clients love in-person Zumba classes and have commented on how helpful they’ve found the class. “I feel refreshed and energized, and I’ve been losing weight.”, said one 25-year-old client. “Attending classes in-person has been a breath of fresh air. “Every Monday evening, the Lake Worth West Park is flooded with women of all ages, dressed in athletic attire with the goal of living a healthier, less stressful, and wholesome day-to-day life. Everyone is all smiles from the time the music starts to the time it ends. Our Zumba instructor is lively and friendly, always happy to guide and help others through the steps. “I love Zumba!” she says. It’s certainly easy to tell from the energy she puts into the class instruction. By the time the class is over and it’s almost dinnertime, the participants part ways with a new outlook on health and fitness.
My process is going better now that we have launched the art call. Since February, we have had over 12 organizations sign up to be involved, and over 25 artists have submitted to the art call.
Silver Fox Elite Fitness is committed to carving Black and Caribbean Seniors a culturally relevant space in the fitness industry. The voices of Seniors is key to this goal. On February 13th Silver Fox hosted the inaugural Virtual Black Senior Fitness Fair providing a platform for Senior voices on issues of health and wellness. The event featured Ernestine Shepard, the legendary 84 year old body builder and fitness professional. Black Senior Fitness Fair segments can be viewed on the Silver Fox Elite Fitness Facebook Channel https://bit.ly/silverfoxelitefitness
Providing fitness services to Seniors is vital. The human body “needs to keep moving to keep moving.” Healthy Seniors are an inspiration and helping Black Seniors increase their health and physicality is an act of Sankofa, or “going back to correct what has not been done”, for those of us who help make this happen. Creating Silver Fox Elite Fitness is the most important work I have done in my many, many years as a working adult. Silver Fox is committed to making the Golden Years the best years and will continue to tear down the challenges of Ageism and marginalizing for elders regardless of socio-economic conditions.
Thanks to the support of the Healthier Neighbors mini grant, I was able to Fast Track my training as a Silver Sneakers Flex instructor. I can now offer culturally relevant fitness classes to Silver Sneakers members as no charge. (imagine fitness classes with Motown! Doo Wop! Jazz! Drum! etc.)
Silver Fox is also preparing to bring a variety of culturally relevant fitness options directly to Community Seniors through non-profits, Community Based Organizations, Senior Living sites, and Senior Day programs. With the right support, we are poised to bring: QiGong for Cane or Chair, Kemetic Yoga for Seniors, African and Caribbean Dance for Seniors in the future.
With the funds that I was able to receive from the mini grant, I purchased some resistance bands to use with my online Zoom class because of the whole pandemic restrictions at the time. The bands that I had left over, I was actually able to use those and give them to the ladies that were present in a fitness class that I was able to co-teach at a dance studio that’s located in Riviera Beach. I started attending there a couple of months ago, just to network with other women, to put myself more out there, let people know what it is that I do, so when I do have upcoming events, people already have a sense of who I am and what I am all about. So, I was able to give the ladies the bands that were not used for the class and it was an awesome time.
Since receiving the mini grant, I have been looking for other ways to encourage ladies to work on their well-being outside of just working out. So I have started to incorporate Fit Mom Tips of the Week, as well as healthy meal options, and then just advice on how to care for yourself as a woman with self-esteem, with confidence, being able to accept where you are now and how you can make yourself better, not just for you, but for your family as a whole, and just helping women to work on themselves as a whole package.