Gym owner expands offerings for day to benefit foster kids
by Bob Brownne
Mar 27, 2014 | 5070 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Champions for Charity
Morgan Mulholand (right), of The Company Fine Arts Academy dance studio in West Valley Mall, leads a group of youngsters in a hip-hop dance routine as part of Champions for Charity, a benefit event for Case For Kids on Saturday at Athletic Perfection. Bob Brownne/Tracy Press.
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Athletic Perfection, 2211 N. MacArthur Drive, expanded its scope beyond the usual tumbling and team acrobatics and cheerleading on Saturday.

Gym owner Julie Van Os invited a variety of fitness professionals for a day of dance, basketball, speed and agility drills and support for a local charity.

Van Os said that Saturday’s event, Champions for Charity, had a dual purpose. She created the donation-based benefit event to help her raise the $2,500 in charitable contributions she needed to enter the “Dancing With the Tracy Stars” show at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts on April 12.

“We wanted to get all of the people in the community who have great programs and great things to offer for people, and who are training champions just like we are, to come together and offer their services,” she said, adding that she hoped it would the first in a series of annual events.

One of the beneficiaries of the April 12 event, in addition to the Grand Foundation, is Van Os’ chosen charity, Case for Kids of Tracy.

Lori Souza, founder and executive director of Case for Kids, said that her year-old group supports foster children in Tracy and that she quickly discovered that the need was much greater than she first imagined.

Case for Kids prepares a container for each foster child, including a homemade blanket, a set of sheets, toiletries, books and three sets of new clothes. Her goal is to deliver a case within two weeks of a foster child arriving in a new home in Tracy. With an estimated 200 foster children in town, Souza said she needed plenty of help.

“This event is huge for us,” she said. “We never ever thought (Case for Kids) would be as big as it is now. As of this month, we’ve reached over 100 kids since we started last March.”

To raise money, Van Os and volunteer instructors asked participants to make donations instead of paying the usual class fee for dance, cheer, tumbling or fitness training.

Morgan Mulholand, the co-owner of The Company Fine Arts Academy in West Valley Mall, taught an hourlong hip-hop dance class for children.

“My philosophy when we started our studio is that we want kids to be more involved in the community,” Mulholand said. “Participating in these events is a good role model for my kids. I like to encourage them to come here.”

David Nunes, the owner of Total Performance Fitness, said he and trainers from his gym were happy to donate time and money.

“We just want to help out any way we can in this community,” he said. “At the same time, we’re out here to educate about health and wellness and teach them proper warm-up technique.”

Other participants included Crossfit, which hosted youth fitness classes, basketball coach Mike Van Os, cheer coaches Breanna Galicia and Eva Reiner, and local chiropractor Dr. Kaylin Schack, who gave sports physicals and evaluations.

Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or

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