In Memory of Tyrone Woods, Gym Extends Fundraiser to Benefit SEAL Families

IB Fitness owner Billy Helmers wants to raise $10,000 for the Navy SEAL Foundation to benefit the families of the fallen.

After a helicopter crash in Afghanistan took the lives of 30 U.S. troops, former Navy SEAL and owner of IB Fitness Billy Helmers decided to hold a fundraiser for the children and families of Navy SEALs who died in combat.

"A lot of my friends were on that one, so we decided in August we would do a fundraising thing for the Navy SEAL foundation," he said.

Days before the fundraiser was scheduled to end, Tyrone Woods was killed in a Sept. 11 attack on U.S. consulate personnel in Benghazi, Libya.

"I don't know if you look at it as the wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time, but some people definitely owe their lives to him," he said.

In Woods' honor, the fundraiser will continue through October.

"We ended up retiring together. We bought our businesses together. We were on the [parachute] jump team together," he said. Around the time when Helmers purchased the gym, Woods purchased The Salty Frog further down Palm Avenue.

Back then, the two would sit at The Salty Frog, "sorting out the world's problems over a cigar and a beer."

Helmers remembers Woods as a silent professional and true warrior with a good spirit.

"We all are walking the razor's edge a little bit," Helmers said. "It's real easy for people to fall off that thing, but he was able to maintain and stay on it his entire career."

The gym has raised $2,500 and has a goal of raising $10,000 for the Navy SEAL Foundation.

New members who sign up will pay $39 a month and a $99 initiation fee, 60 percent of which will go to the SEAL Foundation, Helmers said. A similar deal is available for couples to pay $59 a month with a $124 initiation fee.

You don't have to be a member of the gym to donate, but anyone who makes a donation of any amount can work out for free for a day.

IB Fitness offers free weights and exercise equipment along with spin, yoga, pilates and other classes. The gym also has a juice bar and boxing area.

IB Fitness will hold food and toy drives in November and December. At that time, initiation fees can be waived for donations.


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