2009 Hometown Spirit Award Recipient
"In 1996, the CDC announced that North Carolina ranked 49th in physical activity. Even Cary with our excellent schools, parks and recreational facilities, was not immune to the pandemic of inactivity. Alisa recognized townspeople were being left on the sidelines. That year Alisa started her 501c3 nonprofit all-volunteer organization Fit & Able Productions. She is essentially a "company of one” who provides a well organized path for Cary residents to volunteer their time towards promoting family fitness. She has engaged over 250 volunteers and thousands of participants since 1997.
Alisa has been a tireless volunteer with tremendous credibility, vision and organizational skill. As an ironman-triathlete and marathoner, Alisa lives her own words. Alisa’s vision is providing inclusion events and programs that allow physically and mentally challenged athletes to participate in the same activities as fully functioning participants. She has coached athletes ages 5 to 85 years, at all skill levels. As a community organizer, Alisa has nurtured loyalty in her volunteers and participants. For every hour of an event, she invests 30 to 50 hours of her own time in planning and setting up an event or program. Here is a sample of her activities.
Promotes a sense of community in their neighborhood and all of Cary Alisa has coached novice teams and produced race events where families can participate together. Her all-inclusive running and triathlon events are appropriate for everyone regardless of handicaps, skill levels or age. Her events include:
- “Fit & Able Triathlon Series”
- “Kassel Make A Difference Scholarship Run” benefiting Cary High seniors
- “Railhawks Run” to kick off the Railhawks’ soccer season
- “Fast Track for Fitness” track meet for athletes who have never been on a track before
- “Middle School Fitness Programs” engaging young teens and pre-teens at the Cary Family YMCA.
- “Swim To Remember” benefiting the local Alzheimer Association
- “Kids On The Run & Kids In Cross Training Programs” for families to have access to coaching and introduce them to Cary’s parks and recreation facilities.
- “Railhawk Dance Team” providing an opportunity for dancers, ages 9 to 32 years, to perform at RailHawk Games.
- Helps out neighbors and fellow Cary residents and demonstrates patriotism
Alisa is a local organizer for various fund drives including:
- “US Marine Corp Toys For Tots”
- “Holiday Thank You Banners” to military personnel serving in Iraq
- “Area Men & Women’s Shelters Clothes & Shoes Drive”
- “Food Bank”
Alisa has also volunteered her time at local schools
Demonstrates hospitality & supporting locally owned business
Alisa stages “Celebrate Cary at Sunset” festival that showcases Cary’s nonprofits and artists. She also has served on/as:
- Cary’s Festival Committee
- Chamber Ambassador
- Lochmere Swim Club
- Triangle Aquatic Center
- Cary Community Foundation
- Athletic Committee
Promotes and preserves traditional American past-times
Alisa volunteers to the Carolina Railhawks Soccer team. Besides providing opening and half-time entertainment with her Dance Team, Alisa orchestrated the fan patrol that excited fans and promoted local businesses."
Nominated by: James Leifeste and Mike Wright Colopy