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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Dozens of kids made their way to the Willamalane Center Sunday afternoon, to participate in a free clinic for kids that promoted good decision making, active lifestyles, and drug prevention.
Checkered Past MMA Outreach is the local non-profit organization that hosted Sunday’s event.
Jimmy Jennett is a former professional fighter and the founder of the organization. He founded the organization back in 2010. Jennett said growing up he lived in a dysfunctional home, which eventually led him to an addiction to drugs.
Jennett said the purpose of the organization is to empower at-risk youth in the community and to give them the courage to speak out against doing illicit activity.
He said the most effective way to prevent bad behavior is to openly talk about the issue.
"For parents, teachers, coaches, neighbors to talk to kids about staying away from drugs and alcohol,” said Jennett. “I've seen the total devastation in my life. I know that a lot of it can be avoided just by getting a kid’s attention, keeping their respect and having some honest dialogue with them. A lot of time is just plants these seeds of health."
More than 50 kids attended the clinic. During the clinic, they got to participate and learn various fighting techniques from local MMA fighters and hear Jennett's inspiring message.
Jennett said his organization has served more than 1,000 kids over the last two years, and plans on continuing supporting them for years to come.
For more information on how to get involved with Checkered Past MMA Outreach click here.