30 Before 30: Items 18 & 21

I was inspired by one person to do both Item 18: Take a Self-Defense or Karate Class and Item 21: Write a Non-Profit Business Plan. That person is my cousin, Jonathan Edward Delorenzo, who passed away at a far too young age in 2007.

Jonathan was a martial arts instructor and at his funeral I was overwhelmed with emotion by the number of his students that attended his services and the outpour of support from where he taught. I was inspired then to do two items below in honor of him.

Item 18: Take a Self-Defense or Karate Class

To honor my cousin…and for safety (I travel quite a bit)…I signed up at Elite Martial Arts for a Self-Defense class in Krav Maga fighting.

Our Instructor

It was AWESOME! I learned how to get out of someone choking me (hopefully that will never present itself as a situation I need to get out of)! I also learned how to get out of someone holding me by the wrists in a number of scenarios, how to punch and how to effectively maneuver in an attack situation! It was educational and a blast! I recommend getting a basic course in self-defense to all the women out there…and you men too!

Pow!

You can’t get me!

Item 21: Write a Non-Profit Business Plan

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a non-profit organization in Jonathan’s name for quite awhile. He lived in New Jersey, where most of my family lives and where the non-profit would be based, so I imagine my involvement in the future of this organization would be quite small. But, with the volunteer experience I have, I thought I could at least help get one started by researching how to set up and organize a non-profit and suggest a plan for the mission.

To be honest, the plan is not completely done. I’ve drafted a pretty good outline including the instructions for how to start a non-profit in the state of New Jersey, a mission statement and an overview of how to host two events; a gala fundraiser and a martial arts tournament. Once I’m completely finished, I will provide the information to my aunt, Jonathan’s mother, and allow her to decide if and how to proceed.

The organization will focus on the martial arts tournament, providing scholarship and awards to students in the program, while fund-raising for Autism research and advocacy – a cause very important to my family.

Both of these activities allowed me remember and honor my cousin. A huge THANK YOU to him for the inspiration and for watching over all of us, we miss and love you tons!!!

Jonathan Edward Delorenzo
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