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We congratulate: Two ideas fit for emulation

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A generous donation and some ingenuity have created a new opportunity for Shelby County women to improve their fitness.

When we think of public giving, we like creative concepts that benefit in a variety of ways, and we have two great examples that have come together to form a truly great addition to our community.

First there was the generous, end-of-year contribution to Shelby County by business owner Jamie Latona, which was followed by a stroke of genius by those who received the gift.

Ms. Latona, the owner of the Curves Fitness Center for Women in Shelbyville, decided that she would retire at the end of 2012. Her facility on Alpine Drive in Shelbyville was the home to some modern and effective equipment geared for use by women who want to get in shape without having to do so with bothersome men or the machines made for them.

So  Ms. Latona, rather than selling the equipment to the highest bidder, did a pay-it-forward-type turn and donated the equipment to Shelby County Parks & Recreation, a fabulous idea for a community focused on getting healthier.

Then Jeremiah Heath, the manager of the Family Activities Center at Clear Creek Park, who wholeheartedly embraced the equipment but was at a loss for where to deploy it, came up with the idea of simply leasing Ms. Latona’s old space and opening an adjunct gymnasium for women members of the FAC.

What a wonderful marriage of opportunity and ingenuity.

Ms. Latona’s largesse has shown us that donations to build a better community don’t have to be limited to large parcels of land or bequeathed dollars.

And Mr. Heath has reinforced that expanding the easy access for exercise always is a great option.

We appreciate both, and now we implore all women who have been looking for a new workout option: Go get in shape without having to worry about the men.