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Fort Wayne Residents Raise Funds For Puerto Rico

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David Hernandez
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It’s been four months since Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico. Electricity remains scarce in most of the island and there are many people still living in shelters. 

WBOI’s Araceli Gomez-Aldana spoke with Fort Wayne resident David Hernandez, the owner of Sud’n Impact Gym. Though he doesn’t have any ties to Puerto Rico, he decided to travel to the island just six weeks after it was hit by Hurricane Maria. Hernandez began fundraising and talking about the devastation on the island when he returned to Fort Wayne. 

Hernandez also met local entrepreneur, Rolando Perez. Perez is Puerto Rican and has family living on the island. Since their introduction, they have been working together to raise funds and collect materials to send to the people of Puerto Rico. After their fundraiser on Jan. 27, they plan to travel back to Puerto Rico and help with the recovery efforts.

Here Hernandez talks about why he decided to visit the island after Hurricane Maria. 

Hernandez talks about what he saw during his visit to Puerto Rico. 

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Credit David Hernandez
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Rolando Perez has family that is still living in Puerto Rico, and he talks about their plans to stay or leave and about their everyday living conditions. 

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Perez’s family lives on a mountain in the city of Caguas. He says his family is known for La Estrella de la Paz, or the Star of Hope. Here he talks about what the star is and what it means to their community. 

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Credit Rolando Perez
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The star is 105 feet tall, it contains 840 light bulbs and can be seen from three points of the island of Puerto Rico.

Hernandez and Perez have been collecting materials and they are organizing a fundraising event at Sud’n Impact Gym. Their goal is to take all the proceeds to Puerto Rico. 

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Images provided by David Hernandez and Rolando Perez.

Event details: Impact Health and Wellness Expo will be held Saturday January 27, 2018 at Sud’n Impact Gym to benefit the victims of Hurricane Maria in the island of Puerto Rico. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Scheduled events:

  • 9:00 a.m. 5K run starts (7:30 a.m. registration)
  • 9:30 a.m. Breakfast
  • 10:00 a.m. Powerlifting
  • 11:00 a.m. Jiu-jitsu
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 2:00 p.m. Madame Ants Dancers
  • 2:15 p.m. Kickboxing No Food/ Sales after
  • 4:00 pm at Gym 5:00 p.m. Boxing
  • 5:00 p.m. Dance/ Wine tasting/ Auction at Mitchell's and K-Monique

Contact: Operation Lifting Hope 
David Hernandez (260) 602-7039 Sudʼn Impact Gym 2429 W Main St, Fort Wayne, IN 46808

Email: operationliftinghope@gmail.com