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I have a house in Oregon. It sits on a hill in Troutdale just outside the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge. There are high bluffs to the east, and the Columbia River Valley opens up to the west. A small historic highway runs through the quaint downtown area at the bottom of the hill, and continues on across the old iron bridge just to the east. It runs below the bluffs and along the Sandy River, and finally climbs up to the top of the gorge to run along the rim. From the window I can see the Columbia River, with the hills and mountains of Washington rising on the other side. In the winter I can see snow on the peaks in the far distance. The house is within ten minutes walking distance to the Sandy River and one of the most popular swimming holes in the area. There is boating, fishing, fly fishing, kayaking, and swimming, all within walking distance. The house is twenty minutes from Multnomah Falls and there are great hiking, and mountain biking trails all along the gorge. It?s twenty minutes from downtown Portland for nights out at the symphony, or the theatre. Mt. Hood is an hour away to the east for skiing, and the coast is about an hour away to the west for deep sea fishing, surfing, scuba diving. The community college is minutes away. In the winter on clear days, Mt. Hood can be seen, glistening white on the horizon. I sit on the flat roof on the Fourth of July and New Year?s Eve and watch fireworks going off up and down the valley. It is a beautiful place.The house has been sitting empty for almost a year. There is a story behind that, but I?ll tell it later. The reason I described the location in such detail is because I think it would be a great place to set up a home for disadvantaged athletes, and youth at risk. I envision using the Mixed Martial Arts to help provide them opportunity and direction.I want to set up a team with the focus being these disadvantaged athletes, and young men at risk. I want to use the house to provide a home. I?m looking at clearing out some walls and building small cubicles, just enough room for a cot, a nightstand, and a place to put a gear bag and some clothes. I think I might be able to fit about twenty guys in the house. We would live together eat together, and train together. It would be a team, but in a sense it would be a band of brothers, a family. There are gyms that have agreed to allow us to train for free. I will live there full time in one of the cubicles as well. I will help provide them with free coaching, training, and management. Guest coaches and fighters will be invited to spend time there training and teaching. I need sponsors that are willing to be a part of this project so the young men who are invited to join the team, have few expenses. I want them to be able to train full time. There are so many young people out there who have great potential, but no opportunity, no direction, and no sense of belonging. The fighters will receive free room and board, free gym access, and free coaching and management. But here will be a very strict set of rules all will be required to follow, including myself.These will be some of the initial rules:- No alcohol in the house, and no drugs period.. – No skipping work outs. We will train a minimum of two times a day five days a week. – No fighting anywhere except in the ring. – We all eat the same training diet. – No cars allowed. We all walk as one. We use public transportation. That will help keep us humble. – We will do a full day of community service once a week. – Twenty percent of all the fighter?s purses will be donated back to the house. If they are attending any of the local colleges or universities, they are exempt from this rule. – We will live by the three strike rule. I have this vision of the garage door opening, and twenty guys in gray sweats running out. They set off down the hill in single file to the little downtown area at the bottom. There they turn east and run towards the Sandy River. They cross on the old steel bridge and continue north to the Lewis and Clark State Park. There the real work out begins. They climb the trail to the top of the bluff at the back of the park. There they take a break as they sit high above watching the sun rising over the valley, and the town coming to life. Then it?s back to the house for breakfast, and a rest. That?s the morning run.Mid morning, it?s a jog down the hill to catch the bus to the gym to hit a strength and conditioning workout. An hour of intense training and then we have an hour of free time at the gym to play, swimming, basketball, racquetball, etc. Then it?s a jog to catch the bus back to the house. Lunch and free time in the afternoon. Some will be on the mats downstairs watching technique videos, some will be surfing my space, reading, or whatever suits each fighter.Late afternoon, once again it?s jog down the hill to catch the bus. All in gray sweats, running single file. The bus to the light rail system. The light rail to the MMA gym. An hour of drilling, and then an hour of sparring. Then the train and bus ride back to the house. A dinner together, and then the fighters are free for the evening.After a full week of hard work, Saturday is a full day of community service. That night though, everyone goes out together to play. Maybe pizza, and a movie or whatever the team decides on.Sunday is a day of rest and play. There will be optional trips to the beach in the summer, and trips to Mt. Hood for snowboarding in the winter. There is also the fishing, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, windsurfing, kite boarding.The fighters will be required to donate a percentage of their purses to the home, the foundation so it can keep growing and helping others. Eventually there might be more gyms and homes in others cities. It all starts here though.That is my vision. I?ll be going back up to Oregon soon to start making this vision a reality. I will need help though. I have the house. There are gyms willing to be involved. I?m willing to donate my time and my knowledge, but I will need sponsors for the project. I need financial input. I need legal advice. I need someone that can give advice on insurance issues. And I?m invite input from anyone that has any ideas on how to refine this vision, or has ideas on a better way to structure it. I believe that when we make this happen, it will have a positive affect on a great many lives.And to be honest, this will help me just as much as it will help these young men. I know that if these young men are counting on me, I WILL NOT let them down. Let?s all do something that has true meaning here. Let?s make some dreams come true.Those who are interested in being involved can contact me through my myspace profile at Please use ?Foundation? in the subject line. I wish everyone a great new year.Evan

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