ST. MARYS — A local aerial fitness studio is rallying the community to give back to a family in need.
Heart and Sole Fitness, LLC, along with Binkley Real Estate, LLC, will offer fitness classes in bungee, kangaroo jump boot, and barre at $20 per session on Saturday, Feb. 15, beginning at 9:30 a.m. All proceeds will be donated to help Harper Huelskamp, a 5 year old diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, get a seizure response dog.
“At 9:30, we’ll have a bungee workout and a jump boot workout, and then at 10 we’re gonna switch it up to do a barre workout and another jump boot workout. As long as we got the people, we’re going to do it every half hour and switch it up. We’ll be here as long as the people are here,” Kathy Wallace, co-owner of Heart and Sole, said.
The idea for the benefit, called HERO4HARPER, came after Wallace learned that the Huelskamp family had spent thousands of dollars on a seizure response dog, only to be given a dog with no training. While the family accepted the dog, Hero, into their home and treat him like family, he is not providing any services to Harper, who was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome at age 2.
Dravet Syndrome is a genetic disorder and catastrophic type of epilepsy with prolonged seizures. Harper spends 60 percent of her day in seizures and 99 percent of her time at home due to sensitivities from heat, cold, lights, wind and too much stimulation due to her surroundings. Having a seizure response dog could possibly save her life.
“We’re just trying to pay it forward by having a benefit, making them some money, hopefully, so they could get that dog,” Wallace said. “We’re all from the same town, and we’ve got a great facility here, and we just decided, hey, let’s do it.”
Those interested in attending the benefit are asked to visit Heart and Sole’s Facebook page and tell them what sessions they are interested in because bungee sessions are limited to eight people at a time. Walk-ins are welcome, but by contacting ahead of time, Wallace said she will be able to better schedule extra help and sessions where they’re needed. Bungee and barre classes are open to both adults and children, and kangaroo jump boot classes are adult only.
The goal, Wallace said, is to fill classes and keep them full throughout the day. In addition to classes, there will be a bake sale, a 50/50 raffle and Heart and Sole clients will donate raffle items. Wallace and her daughter and co-owner, Chariti Moon, will give away an unlimited 30-day membership for all the classes offered at Heart and Sole.
“It’s just a lot of fun, it’s good exercise, and it makes you feel good to help people,” Wallace said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.