February 1, 2017
By Allie Ieyoub Davis, Grassroots Fundraiser
Allie Ieyoub Davis is the owner of Project Fit and creator of the annual ReALLIEty Challenge in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Since 2012, participants have tackled a 3.5 mile obstacle course to raise over $26,000 for The Mission Continues. We are thrilled to share Allie’s story with you today.
My idea to create the ReALLIEty Challenge is a natural extension of my gym’s flagship program, Allie’s Bootcamp, a program I have led by former military officers. On bootcamp graduation day, we would create a mini-obstacle course that involved pushing trucks, running with buckets of water, and pulling firemen hoses. It amazed me to see the sense of pride on our recruits’ faces and to hear the excitement in their voices once they realized how much they had accomplished in six weeks. This program provided them with the tools needed to continue lifelong transformation!
Just like Allie’s Bootcamp, my ReALLIEty Challenge is based on the belief that with the right attitude, obstacles can present an opportunity to grow the mind, body and spirit. I do believe that the Challenge has made a positive impact on many people within our community and our success is based on the hard work and the goodwill of many local volunteers and sponsors.
The purpose of the ReALLIEty Challenge is to 1) empower our participants by showing them that obstacles can be overcome, 2) to offer volunteer opportunities to veterans wishing to share their talents, and 3) to strengthen our community by creating family-friendly fitness events.
The Challenge has brought me closer with my community and connected me with some really inspiring people. One of these people is Milton Pharr. Milton is a Marine Corps veteran who is a regular at my gym, Project Fit, and does the ReALLIEty Challenge each year. He is almost 80 years of age, and has not skipped a beat! He does all this because, as he said, “I really want to inspire people to participate FULLY in their lives.”
While my husband builds the Challenge’s obstacle course each year, Jacob Finley is another inspiring person who helps us out. Jacob served in the Air Force for 11 years as a Combat Aviation Advisor. He said, “The purpose that The Mission Continues and ReAlliety Challenge stood for addressed the exact challenges that I had right in front of me,” while transitioning from the military to a civilian environment.
After working to build the obstacles, the actual day of the race for Jacob “is always an amazing day where people show up to support veterans, represent the community, and crush their goals.” He continues, “For me it was a culmination of lots of hard work and effort, that much like the military, forced us to work as a team and support one another.”
Not only does the event aim to celebrate this attitude, but even more so, help instill it as well. For Jacob, this is exactly what the Challenge did for him. He said, “The Challenge was a reality check for me that proved I could find the same motivated people in a civilian life that I knew in my military life.”
This is why my husband and I love putting this event together every year — it brings our community together and lets veterans like Milton and Jacob shine. Not only are they eager to work, but they have tremendous skill-sets that can be used to strengthen our communities. This is my philosophy, why The Mission Continues really resonates with me, and why I decided to donate the profits from this event to support its mission and the efforts of veterans like Milton and Jacob across the country.
Report for duty in your community with The Mission Continues. Serve with a Service Platoon at an upcoming service event near you or apply for a fellowship. You can learn more about our programs on our website and stay updated on the latest news and announcements on Facebook and twitter.