The Right People.

“Sometimes the most ordinary things become extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.”

This is a favorite quote of mine, by an author unknown. I think “author unknown” was very wise. This quote embodies what makes Project Fit America the special, dynamic organization we have become over the past twenty-two years. We are a collection of ordinary dedicated, passionate people who, when aligned with one another, create a force to be reckoned with. Together we create a grassroots network. Working school-by-school, community-by-community. We lift up and empower those whose vision it is to teach the whole child and believe in the immeasurable value of moving a child’s school environment from one of sedentary education to vibrant fitness in education.  A “Roll Call” of Gratitude is in due order as the sun sets on 2012.

First and foremost…Our Visionary Donors

There are over 1.2 million non-profit organizations in the United States. With so many worthy causes, we are blessed that our mission to fund and empower schools to create vibrant, fit kids is a choice made by many. This year we worked in 90 cities with over 50,000 kids and saw firsthand  passion in action. Our donors are a joy to work with. Passionate, engaged, and heartfelt about creating long lasting valuable partnerships with the children, families, schools and communities they serve. They care deeply about being part of the solution to launch children into healthy adulthood. These are marvelous people and organizations we are extremely proud to call our partners.

Next- We head straight to the front line. Schools-Where the action is!

We never cease to be profoundly moved and inspired by the PE Teachers, Principals and parents who tirelessly and lovingly work to create a place for our nation’s children to thrive. They are the MVP’s and the reason why we do what we do and why our donors give and support us. I am amazed at the huge volume of emails we get nights, weekends, holidays, spring and winter breaks…from them. These folks are never off the “clock” and work on behalf of their students long after the last school bus is parked back at the bus barn. They are also the nicest people in the world. They are eager, helpful, super passionate, and major advocates actually getting kids fit. We never forget the fact that almost EVERY child receives their ONLY introduction to fitness and activity as a lifestyle choice from a PE Teacher. They take this “charge” very seriously and when given a real chance….they will get the job done! One empowered PE Teacher can create healthy, passionate, self-actualized lives of hundreds of 1,000’s of children over the course of their career! Our most potent ally!

The Inside Track

Next and so vital is the roll call of people on the “inside track” of Project Fit America. Gratitude seems a word too small to fit all of them. Without a doubt the genesis of everything we teach leaves me beyond gratitude to Steve Cox. From his early days (in 1995) as a PFA grant recipient to becoming our National Director of In-Service and our Master Teacher.

It is because of the programming he developed that we have been able to amass an ever-expanding band of amazing PE Teachers. Many are All Stars and/or well on their way to becoming All Stars and work with us from coast to coast. Some work with us in an Advisory Capacity and some as Mentor Teachers to our new grant schools. Some travel the nation working with our new schools one on one, others help us try out new lessons, help us entertain new and innovative directions, some present at state and regional conferences, others open their doors to a visiting teacher who wants to learn about our special brand of innovative fitness in education. These are amazing people that I am deeply blessed to have the honor of working with. I am humbled by your passion and love for the work you do and the children you serve.

Home Office

Next in line of this roll call…home office. I am also incredibly proud and humbled by the most incredible “Administrative Warriors” on the planet Earth..our home office team at Project Fit America!  Believe me “team” is the right word!! The plethora of adjectives that comes rushing forward…tireless, passionate, caring, committed, funny and joy. They are all these things and much more. They truly love the work they do and it shows…each and every day. I also want to give an extra special shout out to Stephanie Elliott, who celebrates her ten-year anniversary of working with us!

Change is Real

As we close out 2012, I see hope and lots of it. There is a pattern of change…schools becoming the centerpiece and ground zero for launching children into healthy adulthood.   There is  more awareness of the body/brain connection and the fact that sedentary education disadvantages children academically.   This change is real.   It is happening everyday in thousands of schools across the nation. It has been and always will be our core mission and value to continue to be an agent for this change. This is what drives us, inspires us, and compels us each and everyday. It is why we give…100% and then more.  I sign off another one of my all time favorite quotes by another wise author unknown….

“There is no substitute for working with people who make a difference.”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Right People.

  1. Maryann Walsh says:


    This is such an appropriate quote!

    “Sometimes the most ordinary things become extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.”

    Looking forward to working with Project Fit America in 2013.

  2. Carol Mathes says:

    Stacey, you and your team are an amazing group of individuals, and the difference you are making in the lives of our future generations is vital. Our partnership with your organization has contributed greatly to our vision of “Healthier, More Livable Communities” in our region. 2013 can only bring bigger and better things!

  3. Molly says:

    Well said Stacey! I could run over to your office and tell you right now but sometimes it’s nice to have the written word. Thank you for being our fearless leader. Your determination, way with words, and belief in making a real change in this world is awesome to be around. My gratitude to you. I’m pretty excited about 2013 and where your baby, PFA, now young adult will forge the way!

  4. Candace Call says:

    You are one of the most inspirational people I know. When I think of people who have made a difference for the youth of our country, you are one of the first people I think of. Kudos to Steve and Stephanie too! Thank you!

  5. Stacey, thank you for a beautifully written gratitude blog which encompasses all of the wonderful aspects of PFA which make this initiative and work with schools so special. It is truly amazing what can happen when the right group of people get together with a common goal to make a difference! In the decade that I have worked for PFA, I have seen so much growth and change actually happen with health & fitness for children. It has inspired me as an employee, a parent and also a person in society that it takes just one person to ignite the vision! Thank you for your guidance and never ending “god winks” that give us direction and the faith to keep forging forward to help as many schools as possible! You have a heart the size of Texas and I am thankful to be a spoke in the PFA wheel! Cheers to ten more years!!

  6. steve cox says:

    Where does the time go? My goodness, sometimes I look around and see who and what is happening with PFA and I just pinch myself and smile. Watching and being a part of this wonderful group and evolving movement/commitment to student fitness is inspiring.

  7. Ronny Bredow says:

    I located you’re blog via searching the net and I have to say. A Huge Thank you, I believed that your post was extremely enlightening I will come back to see what additional great information I can recieve here.

  8. christine amond says:

    WOW WEE!! Reading your “Roll Call” is a great way to not only end the year 2012, but to begin the New Year 2013!! Let the New Year begin with Project Fit America! I’m so thankful to be a part of your family:)

  9. Amanda Martin says:

    Happy New Year! What a great “shot in the arm” to start 2013! Thanks for leading the way and picking up that red telephone to call your first donor 23 years ago! Where would PE programs be across the nation without your desire, drive and determination?!?!?! Way to go! And Way to go Steve and Steph! Keep up the good work PFA!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *