Friday, August 18, 2006

Helping Kids, circus-style

A few months ago I was contacted by Scott Fifer, one of the first-ever P90X success stories, who had just returned from a soul-searching mission to Africa. He spent a while there helping at an orphanage, and came back a changed man, a Hollywood writer on a new mission: To help raise money in order to build these kids a proper facility, so the orphanage doesn't just house these kids, it cultivates them.

But this no common cultivation, these kids gain confidence and learn that they are entitled to love and respect just like the rest of us, through personal achievement in acrobatics.

Scott was calling me to ask if Beachbody wanted to get involved in helping the kids organize a tour through the US. Stop one would be to Los Angeles where they would perform at area schools in special events for big shots with fat wallets. Stop two would be Las Vegas where the kids will get to learn from the superstars of acrobatic performance, Cirque du Soleil. Stop three would include a few talk shows, and perhaps a trip to New York before their return home. It took all of a minute for him to convince me to commit some money and resources to his venture. Soon after Power 90's Tony Horton held a fundraiser at his house. More commitments of support followed.

Thanks to the Beachbody design team, the bright red Tunahaki t-shirts are designed, the seed money is in the bank, the logo is being plastered all over their tour van, and miraculously Scott succeeded in getting all twelve kids visas. for their November trip.

Then the other day I am sitting in a meeting with Kathy Smith, discussing the latest in Project: YOU land, including some interesting progress about Kathy visiting companies to motivate people in corporate wellness programs. In the midst of the conversation, Kathy starts talking about her recent climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, a volcano in Tanzania. The climb itself is an enormous feat. Then making a small world seem smaller, it turns out that immediately prior to her ascent, Kathy and her team were entertained by a troupe of children who perform acrobatics in order to support a nearby orphanage... the kids of Tunahaki!

It appears Beachbody was meant to participate, not just at the corporate level, but its success stories, vendors, experts, and even community are jumping in.

Look for WOWY events and other announcements as we track the progress. And look forward to a full length documentary produced by P90X director Mason Bendewald. See what I mean? We're into this from all angles... now all we need is you!

Click here if you want to learn more about what Scott is doing, especially if you have the means to join Beachbody in support of this very worthwhile cause!

Click here to donate now!

This just in from Scott:
There are actually 9 kids (plus one adult) coming from Africa, (and 2 American chaperones, hence the need for 12 people in a van). And they are also going to San Francisco to study circus arts during their trip here.

What else might you want to know….? I am planning on bringing them to the beach their first morning in the U.S. to join Tony & I for his infamous ‘Sunday Workout’… Disney has invited them to see The Lion King stage show which will be in Hollywood at the same time they are here (set in their homeland, uses Swahili – “Hakuna Matata” – it will be the kids’ first live theatre experience)… and we are making a point not just to perform for fat cats, but also at schools in South Central, LA, and at a shelter for homeless teens in Las Vegas.

Also, they practice their exercises every day - in sweltering heat, with no running water, no plumbing, no refrigerator or stove to keep or cook food – yet they work at it every day. So it seems to me that if they can do it in those conditions, anybody can. Maybe Traci can use that to motivate people when she promotes WOWY.

I still can’t get over the Kathy Smith connection. That really is something.

Click here to help these kids now!

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