A gym in Stockton is going beyond getting people in shape, it's investing in its community.
Teens don't have to pay to get into Lord's Gym City Center and the facility has more to offer than just treadmills and weights.
"At the end of the day we want to give everyone in our town a place to go that's fun that's hopeful and it's a place where everyone can be the best person they can be," said Lord's Gym City Center Executive Director, Heather Buzo.
Buzo is a Stockton native and she is seeing the "Build Strength, Ignite Possibilities" motto through at the new 30,000 square foot facility that opened its doors on the first of the year.
Memberships for adults cost just $20 and that money helps take care of the memberships for kids.
"I've got a heart for this town I know where we can go if we can all come together," said Buzo. "Stockton is more than just a statistic and I think our community members are more than that as well. We can put Stockton back ot the map to be something positive for everybody."
It's called a "City Center" because it's more than just a gym. While the basketball court is the most popular spot, the gym sets itself apart with a gaming center where kids can play pool or foosball with friends and an opportunity center where people of all ages can work on maximizing their potential.
"We're also going to allow different classes, online classes and training so that our members can learn how to speak, read, and learn a little bit more to enhance their English," said Buzo. "It will also be a place for adults to look for jobs and 'how do you fill out a resume?' or a cover letter, how to ensure that their application is looked at, when applying for jobs."
One of the gym's community partners is Team Trouble, the new professional basketball team. The players have become mentors to the kids who come through the doors there and the team has donated basketballs, among other things, to help kids hone their craft on the court.
"They've given us tickets so that our kids can go to their games," said Buzo. "We had a group of little kids that ran here because they knew the team was here and they wanted to see them."
Lord's Gym has a dozen locations in California, including Roseville and Vacaville, along with locations in Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Washington. There are also locations in Mexico, Ghana and Cambodia.
But Buzo is among those who are doing what they can to raise the standard in Stockton.
"We know that there's a lot of potential for our town. There is. And it can get back to a place where people want to be, where people want to visit," she said. "There's that 'you're from Stockton?' and we can change that and it starts with our youth. There's so much that we can do with the future and why not start right here in my hometown?"
Lord's Gym City Center will host a formal grand opening on Thursday, February 22, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The nonprofit is looking for volunteers to serve as mentors or even work out partners with the kids there.
If you'd like to learn more about how to get involved, click here to be redirected to the Lord's Gym City Center.
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