Source: Sherman Publications

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Last minute fundraiser fully supported

August 14, 2013

In less than a week three Lake Orion women coordinated the Team Tara Benefit and Be The Match Bone Marrow Drive for a classmate that Jamie Ayers hasn't seen in 15 years, and Nina Hart has never met.

Shannon Smalley remained good friends with Tara long after high school, and asked her to be her maid of honor at her wedding.

Tara Revyn was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) in 2003, six years after graduating from LOHS, and waited 10 years on the bone marrow registry before finding her match.

Revyn underwent a transfusion on July 20, and remains in Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit until her white blood cell count stabilizes.

MDS is also known as pre-leukemia, where blood cell production is disorderly and ineffective in many cases with blood marrow transfusions as the only option for certain recoveries.

"I saw on Facebook that Shannon was trying to sell t-shirts and I thought how much money can she make doing that. So my friend Nina and I said we could do the class for her," Ayers said, co-owner of Fit Chics Fitness out of Oxford. Hart is the other owner, and together they rent their workout room from the Strike Boxing Club located at 275 S. Glaspie St., Unit B in downtown Oxford.

The fundraiser is an introduction to the Fit Chics Bootcamp class with Strike Boxing instruction as well, from 10:30 a.m. to 11: 15 a.m. on Saturday, August 17at the Oxford location.

"We thought this was a great way to raise awareness and get people doing something healthy," Smalley said.

There is a $10 minimum donation for the class consisting of a full body work-out done in circuits, which will be more of an introduction than the usual, boot camp class.

"We don't use a lot of equipment, we use things (drills done with your own body weight) that you can easily take from our classes and do at home," Ayers said.

All of the proceeds will be split between the Be the Match foundation,, and Revyn who has set up a bone marrow fund through her bank so donations could be made to help pay pending medical bills.

"The cost to get someone on the (bone marrow registry) list is $100 per person so our donations will be put to great use," Smalley said.

The three teamed up with Strike Boxing club just last Thursday, and already have more than ten businesses from Oxford to Orion Township to Auburn Hills to Rochester donating food and goods for a raffle.

"We first put it to our friends, but because we had so many, I thought we could go to other businesses, people were just so generous without even a second thought," Ayers said.

After the workout ends at 11:15 a.m, donators will have a chance to get some great food, purchase some t-shirts, and help spread awareness of Be the Match organization, which will also be at the event.

"We want to raise awareness and get more people on the registered donor list in hopes of saving more lives," Smalley said.

Come dressed to work out. For more information on the class or donations, call Jamie Ayers at 248-568-3141 or email