Archive for July, 2008


Piggly Wiggly -thank you!

July 30th, 2008 by Louis

Not sure if anyone noticed the Piggly Wiggly sales flyer in today’s Post & Courier but the Piggly Wiggly mentioned their support of Fit Club at Mitchell -we are all ecstatic! The Piggly Wiggly has given money, product and support to us this summer and it’s been huge! We are so grateful to Rita Postell, David Schools and the entire team at the Piggly Wiggly -we’ll work incredibly hard for their continued support of our program.


On another note, we are trying to kick off the 2008 5th annual Yoga Marathon on October 11th 12-2 in Marion Square. It’s not easy trying to get all those yogi’s in one place, in fact -it’s like herding kitties! :)

We had a weigh in yesterday at fit club and we have a combined weight loss of over 61 lbs!!! 

This is incredible and Bucky, Shavonna and Laura -can’t forget Eliza, all have worked so hard with these kids and their families. We continue to move forward and are blessed with the kids participation and excitement.


Next week the Rock Wall comes to Fit Club! For two hours on Tuesday, August 5th we’ll have the rock wall at the school and the kids, families, counselors and school will have a chance to climb all over the place -come join us!

Oh and tomorrow Lowcountry Live from Northwoods Mall! I’ll be on Lowcountry Live with the beautiful Ryan Nelson 10 a.m. WCIV ABC News 4 -tune in and tell your pals!


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Fit Club goes Hollywood!

July 21st, 2008 by Louis

Thanks to our amazing friends at Patrick Properties (shout out to Jenny from the block!) we celebrated our first level ceremony this past Saturday at one of the South’s oldest movie houses. The American Theater built in 1942 and is now a state-of-the-art event and conference facility hosted the five fit club members who graduated to level II the Tuesday before for their Movie Day reward.

Mya, Keshaun, Dahndray, Auja and Sam joined Behavior Coach, Shavonna Coakley, Program Director, Bucky Buchanan and myself, founder, Louis Yuhasz, for a personal screening of the acclaimed hit Hoosiers starring Gene Hackman. We had popcorn, twizzlers and craisins (the whole snack bag was under 300 calories and had less that 1.5 gms of fat!). Everyone walked to the theater because it’s in the Mitchell neighborhood (over 3,200 steps to and the same back!) and the event manager Rachel opened the doors to a beautiful private screening room! The kids loved it and so did the adults.

We continue to be blessed by the community here in Charleston. Jennifer Goldman, Rachel, all the folks at the American Theater and Patrick Properties totally rolled out the red carpet for Fit Club as you’ll see in the pictures I’ve included. Please spread the word and keep those card (checks) and letters coming!


Let\'s go to the movies!

All the way to hollywood!

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Fit Club’s incredible gift! Thank you Try Sports -”Thanks Ms. Angie!”

July 18th, 2008 by Louis

Folks -This week we had Angie and the amazing folks from  Try Sports come down to our Fit Club in Charleston on Thursday from 4-6 to fit each individual kid with athletic shoes that they’ll custom fit to each kids feet. The kids will have to leave the shoes at the school each week in custom bags donated by East Shore Athletic Club’s Kent Jordan. The kids will have to earn the shoes through the gold star standard system Louie’s Kids has in place.  –Gold stars (attendance, wearing a pedometer, bringing their journal for the group session, etc. etc.) is the way the kids will earn any fitness equipment or outside activity within the program.

We all understand and are in agreement at Fit Club (created by Louie’s Kids and longtime partner that this is about changing long-term patterns of behavior, it’s the only way they’ll be successful. Kids will have to earn these things and they’ll do so by changing their behavior. It won’t be easy –no one expects that it will, there’s a lot going against these kids, but we’ll be there with them –every step of the way and long after the program ends. 

So I just wanted to give you the heads up on what’s happening.  ”Keep those donation’s coming!”



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FIT CLUB comes to Mitchell Elementary-Post & Courier July 4th!

July 15th, 2008 by Louis

Mitchell Elementary joins Fit Club

The Post and Courier
Friday, July 4, 2008
Fit Club Program director Bucky Buchanan (right) runs with participants (left to right) Mya Sheppard, 10, Gabrielle Spencer, 11, and Stephanie Spencer, 10, to keep them motivated.

Christina Elmore
The Post and Courier

Fit Club Program director Bucky Buchanan (right) runs with participants (left to right) Mya Sheppard, 10, Gabrielle Spencer, 11, and Stephanie Spencer, 10, to keep them motivated.

Mitchell Elementary School children will have a chance to combat obesity this summer thanks to a new school program called Fit Club.

Children participating in Fit Club will spend Tuesdays and Thursdays from June until September working out, gaining information on nutrition and holding weekly conference calls with a clinician.

Louie’s Kids, a Charleston-based nonprofit organization that fights childhood obesity, is running the program.

Louie’s Kids raises money to provide scholarships to send young people to weight programs and camps such as those run by Wellspring Community Programs.

Wellspring runs nine fitness camps and two year-round boarding schools around the world. The camp costs $5,950 for a four-week program, or $8,950 for eight weeks.

This summer Louie’s Kids chose to partner with Wellspring to bring the camp to the children. In doing so, the organization was able to reduce costs to $1,000 per family for a four-month program to be completed locally.

Both organizations are working to end a trend that could shorten the lives of today’s youth.

“For the first time in American history, today’s kids are not expected to live as long as their parents,” said Lev Kaye, managing director with Wellspring. “There’s a whole host of medical problems that scientists have found that are caused by obesity, and that’s what’s leading to shorter lives.”

Samuel Wilson said he’s interested to see how his daughter Samantha, 12, does in Fit Club.

“Personally, I don’t understand why kids at this age have weight issues,” he said. “I guess it’s because they don’t have a whole lot to do. They just come home, lay around and eat.”

Samantha Wilson said that she doesn’t have a goal for how much weight she wants to lose. “I just want to start eating healthier,” she said.

Those running Fit Club hope to address why kids are eating so much and how overeating and weight issues affect them emotionally and psychologically.

Eliza Kingsford, a behavioral coach with Wellspring, will speak with the group of participants weekly on the phone about how they’re performing and what they’re struggling with.

“What gets a lot of parents hooked is just this idea that finally someone’s going to work on more than just the nutrition and the physical activity,” Kingsford said.

Samantha Johnson said she hopes that Fit Club will be able to help her son, Kurtis McNeil, 10, learn to manage the anger and stubbornness that go along with his weight problem.

Like Kurtis, Johnson has struggled with weight. “I just lost 102 pounds and I did it on my own,” she said.

Johnson, who lost weight for health reasons, chose to manage her own weight by counting calories and walking.

For Louis Yuhasz, the founder of Louie’s Kids, this program isn’t just about getting kids to lose weight but encouraging them to make healthy choices to lessen their chances of developing diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with obesity.

“I’m not here to make skinny kids,” Yuhasz said. “We’re here to help kids live long healthy lives. It may be as a person of size, but it doesn’t have to be as a person of size with disease.”

Yuhasz, of Sullivan’s Island, founded Louie’s Kids seven years ago. Morbid obesity contributed to the death of his father.

He said the organization has raised about $250,000 over the past seven years.

Yuhasz sees the summer program being offered to Mitchell students as a chance to get children to volunteer in the community.

“I believe that everybody’s been given an incredible gift so we’re going to pay it forward,” he said. “It might be by cleaning up a park. It might be by walking with some senior citizens. It could be a whole host of things, but I believe that we have something that we can offer the community and those around us.”

If the program proves successful, Yuhasz hopes to bring Fit Club to more schools. “This is poised for great success and I will move a mountain to make sure this works, and that I bring it everywhere to kids just like these,” he said in a release.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5521

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Week 4 and the kids of Fit Club have lost over 45 lbs!!!

July 11th, 2008 by Louis

You all have been so amazing with the Fit Club coverage. The program’s going great and at week four we have a combined weight loss of 46 lbs!!!

This Tuesday at Fit Club is a level ceremony 5 or 6 kids will move to the next level “JV Starter” because of their attendance, commitment, participation. They, the kids moving up, will be hosted by the American Theatre for a special screening of Hoosiers one of my favorites and chosen because of the message –overcoming adversity. We have several more special events like this planned as there are four levels.

On Thursday, July 17th Try Sports, the tri-athlete fitness store in Mt Pleasant, is coming, big rig and all, to outfit each child individually in fitness shoes chosen specifically for them. They’ll donate the shoes, socks and t-shirts but we are making the kids earn them. Until they have 50+ gold stars they’ll have to only wear the shoes at Fit Club and turn them back in at the end of every workout. If the kids don’t ever earn them –they’ll be donated to another charity.

We all understand and are in agreement at Fit Club that this is about changing long-term patterns of behavior, it’s the only way they’ll be successful. Kids will have to earn these things and they’ll do so by changing their behavior. It won’t be easy –no one expects that it will, there’s a lot going against these kids, but we’ll be there with them –every step of the way and long after the program ends. The kids will be hosted for months online in group sessions they’ve become used to. The Mitchell Elementary school media center will be available for them to log on for it.

We go for an additional physical fitness opportunity every Saturday –last Saturday they got to swim with Bucky and other members of the CofC squad (you all might remember that our Program Director, Bucky Buchanan, is a former competitive swimmer for the College of Charleston and also the swim coach for the state ranked Snee Farm team.  Our Behavior Coach in the room is Mitchell’s own, Shavonna Coakley (6th grade teacher, former title-1 school graduate, mom of 3 and Master’s candidate for school administration) heading up the behavioral portion of this great program. This Saturday we’ll walk (2 Saturday’s ago we walked over 7,000 steps) but we’d be so open to biking, hiking etc. We are hoping to have the climbing wall coming down  to the school on August 5th (God willing) and we’ve had yoga instructors, Tae-Bo instructors, Aerobic Instructors –Wando Football players, we’ve had a host of people already grace our doorway and work out with the kids.

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Fit Club hosts NFL

July 2nd, 2008 by Louis

Yesterday we had a special guest at Fit Club, Anthony Hargrove, a defensive end for the Buffalo Bills and former Georgia Tech player. He saw the WCIV ABC News 4 piece last week (on our blog site for view!! once you click on to the site you have to refresh your computer to watch the video) and was so touched that he called and ask if he could come talk to them about overcoming adversity as well as leading them through a workout with he and his personal trainer, Ron. WCIV ABC News 4 will air another piece on Thursday’s evening broadcast, also on Thursday look for a piece on Fit Club in the Post & Courier. WCBD will be coming down to Mitchell on Thursday and I’ll let you know when that piece will air.

The kids of course were ecstatic that an NFL player was coming to visit them. The picture here is just after we had our snack and Anthony signed Piggly Wiggly bumper stickers for each of the kids. We tried to get all 15 “Fit Club” kids into the picture –it was like herding cats :)

I continue to be so amazed by the support we are receiving, thank you Charleston community. I am so excited to get some pics of Fit Club up onto our site -stay tuned.

We have in week 4 a combined weight loss of over 32 lbs!!! The most important part though is that the kids keep coming and are sharing in the calls some very important things that we believe will hold the key to their sustained success in weight control and everyday life.

Enjoy your holiday weekend and just know how grateful we all are that you have taken the interest in our “little engine that could” -because we are!

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Louie’s Kids on ABC News 4

July 1st, 2008 by Louis

Louie’s Kids was recently featured on ABC News 4 with a segment called ‘Fighting childhood obesity’. Check it out using the link below.

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