Dear Family and Friends
As you know, we have been closed since the fire on August 8th. In some ways it feels like it was just last week, and in other ways it feels like we have lived a lifetime since then as we: worked through insurance issues; figured out what or if anything was salvageable; learned more than we ever wanted to about insurance; secured some gym time at The Club and in the gymnasium of Brenneman Memorial Church so that our team girls can still compete this season; gathered with our staff and began dreaming about the future and the possibilities before us; tried to somehow adjust our daily schedules to NOT being in the gym (strange how disruptive NOT doing something is to ones life); and much, much more. But through all the difficulty in the aftermath of the fire, and missing the children we got the privilege to work with, we have also experienced God’s provision and direction, one step at a time.
Before updating you on where things stand at this time, I want to first list some of the many reasons we have to be thankful:• The fire happened when no one was in the building, so no one was injured, including firefighters;• The fire happened during the day, so neighbors spotted it quickly and called 911. The quick response kept the fire from burning down the building completely, and also kept the fire from spreading to any surrounding structures. Had the fire happened at night, things would have been much worse;• Because the response was so quick, most of our main office computers were salvageable, as well as important documents. The gym area suffered extensive heat and smoke damage, so only a few steel frames were salvaged;• The great work done by the firefighters on the day of the fire;• The vast amount of documentation and surveillance video helping the team of investigators move closer to finding the root cause of what seems to be an unusual electrical failure;• Our landlords, Jack and Nancy Wait, who have been so gracious to us in so many ways;• The “divine appointments” that lead us to meeting people that help in big and small ways. One such encounter ended up in us being able to purchase equipment and mats from an auction at a 5th of what it would have cost us to buy it new. This was a huge blessing, because as it turns out, we were underinsured for the amount of equipment we had (One of the many lessons learned relating to insurance, etc.); • The Business Income Interruption Insurance benefit that has allowed us to continue to pay our staff while we work on our next steps;• Kathy, from The Club, for giving us time in her facility for our team girls to practice;• The staff and board at Brenneman Memorial Church for allowing us to use their gymnasium the week immediately following the fire, and now ongoing to supplement our team practices at The Club;• Our staff, who have been so supportive and have come along side us to encourage us and embolden us to rebuild and dream about the future. We COULD NOT do it without our beautiful, inspiring, talented, and tenacious staff!• You, our customers. So many have reached out with kind words that lifted us up in the midst of the initial shock and the following fog we were working our way through as everything was so uncertain. Many of you were generous and just left your unused August tuition in the business to help us with cash flow, and even those who couldn’t, blessed us with kind words and promises of returning to classes once we reopen. We appreciate you all more than words can express. A special shout out to the parents of our team girls, who have been incredibly supportive and flexible as we navigate this very unusual season. Your words of encouragement and your effort of getting the girls to practices at different locations and organizing fundraisers to help with their competition expenses, is greatly appreciated!
So where do we stand now and what needs to happen for us to start offering classes?• Inspire’s home, that we leased since its inception, the building on CR 45, will be demolished and the owner will be rebuilding. However we do not plan on returning there. We had outgrown it in many ways and for many years now, we have been saving money for a down payment on our own facility. In fact, just before the COVID shutdown, we were on the verge of making that dream come true. But then we were shutdown, and by the time we had been able to recover somewhat from that, inflation and other factors caused the cost of construction to go up significantly. So we put that on hold. However, the fire has forced us into considering, and now pursuing purchasing land and building our own facility. We are in the throws of getting quotes, securing financing, finding the right land, etc, etc, etc. There have been many twists and turns along the way, and we are just taking one step at a time, all the while seeking God’s guidance to manage what He has given us with wisdom. The money we have saved through hard work over the years, seems like so little in comparison to the amount needed for the project, besides still needing to get more equipment and mats. So please pray for us as we work on the financing and sorting out all the details.• Construction projects take a while, so what do we do in the meantime? We really want to get back to teaching gymnastics, tumbling and ninja to all of your children, but in order to do so, we need a place to do it in. We have struggled to find a building that fits our needs and is in the general area that would be accessible to our staff and clients, that also has sufficient parking, etc. Another big complication is that it is rare for a landlord to want to sign a lease contract for less than 3 years. We do not want to lock ourselves into a long-term lease in a less than ideal building/location. That would feel like a step backwards. We would, however, love to do a short-term lease while we work on our construction project. Here is where maybe you can help us: do you, or someone you know, own a building in the Elkhart/Goshen area that we could lease in the short term? Size hopefully between 5,000 to 15,000 square feet. At this point we aren’t all that picky about it, we just need it to be a safe place that our customers will feel good about taking their children to. Our staff will work their magic in it to make it work as a temporary place as we build our new home.
We apologize for our silence over the last few months. It has been a lot for us to process and work through, and we really wanted to be able to share more definite plans when we did put out an update. We were hoping we would be able to be telling you when and where we would be reopening for classes by now, but things just haven’t quite worked out for that, so we felt we would share with you what is going on and ask for your prayers as we continue to work through all the details and towards the short term goal of a temporary space, and the long term goal of building a new gym! This is an exciting but also daunting undertaking, and we look forward to seeing how God makes something beautiful out of the ashes.
Thank you again, for your kind words and support. Please tell your children we miss them and give them hugs from our staff to them. We hope that very soon we will be able to start offering programs to our community again. Investing in the lives of the children in our community has always been our priority, and with God’s blessing, we will be back at it again.
Sincerely, Lori and Heber HernandezInspire Athletics
As you may know, our beloved building recently faced a devastating fire that has left us with uncertainty about the future. Our hearts ache for the memories, the laughter, and the dedication that once filled those walls. But we are reminded that the true spirit of our community lies not within the physical space, but within the connections we've built and the determination that propels us forward.
Remember, Inspire is more than just a building; it's a collective of individuals who uplift and support one another. Let's draw strength from that unity as we face the uncertainties ahead. Together and with God at the helm, we will be guided through this challenge and build a brighter future for children in our community.
To our families currently enrolled, your auto pay for the month of September will not be processed. By now, you should have received an e-mail with information regarding re-embursment for the unused August tuition and requesting feedback.
With heartfelt gratitude, Lori and Heber Hernandez.