(Fremont County, WY) – Jake (Body by Jake) Steinfeld, fitness icon and Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC), and Governor Mark Gordon were at both Arapahoe Schools and Lander Middle School today, October 13, to unveil the new $100,000 “DON’T QUIT!” Fitness Centers that were awarded to each school.
111 schools from around the state applied for the facilities at the start of 2023, and it was announced back in May that LMS, Arapahoe Schools and Sheridan Junior High School were chosen for Wyoming.
Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Elevance Health Foundation and Nike (and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding), while Fit Supply provides the fitness equipment.
Steinfeld and crew first made their way to Arapahoe Schools this morning, and before the actual ceremony began Steinfeld and Governor Gordon were presented with ceremonial blankets and beadwork from superintendent Curt Mayer and staff members Pat Moss, Leslie Spoonhunter and KayCee Quiver.
Steinfeld and Governor Gordon were greeted with cheers from the crowd as they entered the gymnasium and high fived students, and were then treated to a performance from the Little Brave Singers.
“Falcons, how are we doing this morning?” Steinfeld asked to roaring cheers from the crowd before thanking the performers, staff, students and community for showing up.
At both dedications, Steinfeld said that his mission to make sure kids lead healthy lives and have access to proper fitness equipment began when he was around the age of the students in attendance, at a time in his life when he was overweight and also had a stutter.
“My confidence and self self esteem were really low,” Steinfeld shared before stating all that changed when his father bought him a set of weights. “Those weights changed my life.”
Steinfeld then brought out Governor Gordon, who first and foremost thanked the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes, as well as everyone in attendence.
Governor Gordon went on to liken the state of Wyoming to bison at both dedications.
“What does the bison do when it’s storming? Does he turn his back, or does he face the wind?” he asked to shouts of “face the wind” from the students.
“There is so much heart here,” the Governor added before Steinfeld came back out to thank Adam Brasel, the PE teacher who submitted the video application.
Following the assembly, it was time for the official ribbon cutting and unveiling of the fitness center.
The Don’t Quit crew was then off to Lander Middle School for the next dedication, which also drew a crowd of excited students and staff as Steinfeld and Governor Gordon once again pumped up the crowd.
The LMS ceremony began with a performance of the 307 Alliance “Honor Song,” followed by an introduction from from Principal Jade Morton, who went on to recognize PE teachers Jordon Cooper, Bo Red Bow and Chris Babb.
“These guys are constantly asking, how do we do better for our kids?” Morton said of the teachers who started the Outdoor Recreation Club as a means to offer a variety of physical education to students.
Club members then showcased some of the many activities they have done as a part of this program.
Steinfeld and Governor Gordon soon spoke, with Steinfeld once again sharing the origins of why youth fitness is such a passion for him, and also marveling at the beauty of Fremont County.
“This is a beautiful school, a beautiful community,” Steinfeld commented of LMS and the Lander area.
Governor Gordon echoed Steinfeld’s sentiments of the Lander community, and also shared that Lander was always a tough competitor back when he was coaching, to proud cheers from the Sabers.
Cooper was also recognized for submitting the application, along with educator and LMS Saber News Team advisor Jan Babits, who produced the winning application video with the News Team (which Steinfeld said was one of the best video submissions he had seen so far).
You can watch the winning video below, and also click here to see the moment when the LMS crew found out they won back in May
Following the speeches and recognitions, it was officially time to cut the ribbon and check out the new Don’t Quit Fitness Facility.
You can also check out some behind the scenes photos below of LMS staff, FCSD #1 School Board members, Representative Lloyd Larsen (who was also in attendance and recognized by the Governor) and the Fitness Council crew.
To learn more about the The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils, click here.