Fit 4 The Cause, a local non-profit that combines social media-fueled flash mobs with fitness education and philanthropic giving, received its 501(c)(3) status a year ago just 90 days after filing with the IRS.
Founded by PR expert and ACE certified Fitness Pro Cindy Rakowitz, Fit 4 The Cause continued pushing the limits over the last 12 months, culminating in a packed house at the its inaugural Miracle of Movement Gala at the Sheraton Agoura Hills.
What a great event! Led by Fox Sport Radio talk show host Tomm Looney, this gala was entertaining and inspirational.
The theme of the night was "Smashing Obstacles." Honorees celebrated for smashing personal obstacles were Lisa Roub, who received the 2015 Advocacy Award and Sourena Vasseghi, recipient of the 2015 Inspiration Award.
Roub learned in April 2014 that she had breast cancer at the age of 40. After much research she opted to have a bilateral mastectomy. After the surgery, she was told that the cancer spread to her lymph nodes and would necessitate four rounds of chemotherapy. The thought of losing her hair was now a concern. But she discovered a new treatment, Penguin Cold Caps, that prevents hair loss by freezing the scalp to 40 degrees below zero on chemo days, protecting the follicles and minimizing hair loss. Roub has been cancer-free for nearly a year. She was honored for sharing her experiences with others in need of support and advice.
Vasseghi is an award-winning author and inspirational speaker who suffers from severe cerebral palsy. Although he has limited motor skills and a significant speech impediment, he is an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. But since he can't really speak to an audience, he has partnered with "interpreter" Chris Stevenson of Stevenson Fitness in Oak Park. The duo had us both laughing and crying as they took us through some of the challenges Vasseghi faces in life and how we all can learn from them. Vasseghi is an Agoura Hills resident and is married with two kids. You have to meet this guy. Learn more at sourenav.com.
We also enjoyed a conversation with NFL linebacker Brady Poppinga at the Gala. Poppinga shared thoughts on commitment and returning from injury over the course of his career. After playing at BYU, he was drafted in 2005 by the Green Bay Packers, where he played six years, then the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys.
Two thumbs up to all of the great sponsors for this event that made it happen, with a shout-out to Champion Level sponsors Edison International, Humana/Brian Sullivan and the Law Offices of Friedman & Bartoumian.