WRTS – Pomona: From Heartbreak to Purpose
Mother’s Day is supposed to be a day for families and the community to celebrate and give back to the Warrior Moms who raised us. Unfortunately, this Mother’s Day did not begin this way for our Rockstar Pomona owner, Katie Ruiz Hanes. At 5:30 am on May 12th, thieves chose to break into We Rock the Spectrum – Pomona and take from the gym. Two masked men shattered the front entrance and left with about $3,000 worth of damages, including stolen merchandise, a computer, and a printer.
However, from adversity came a blessing.
The surveillance video that Katie posted on Mother’s Day morning was shared by fellow gym owners and friends across Facebook. KTLA, KABC, Yahoo News, and the KOST 103.5 radio station all featured the story on their broadcast to help raise awareness of the incident.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help raise the funds to combat the damage. Within the past 15 days, the cause has surpassed its $3,000 goal by over $1,500 with the help of almost 100 donors! The We Rock family is incredibly thankful for the outpour of care and encouragement from We Rockers around SoCal.
Once word about the break-in made it to our West Coast Corporate office in Tarzana, CA, our CEO and Founder, Dina Kimmel, immediately jumped in and extended her support and love. A team member from Corporate drove out a computer and new products for the Ruiz family that same day!
“We are so heartbroken but we are resilient,” says Katie on their GoFundMe page. “This is a second home for many of our We Rock families. And this gym wouldn’t be possible without the support of our families, our amazing friends, and local partnering businesses and to all our loyal followers like you who have helped us get the word out about our sensory gym for all kids!”
We Rock the Spectrum has been incredibly overwhelmed with the amount of love, support, and generosity that the SoCal community has poured out during a time of need.
The WRTS – Pomona team is determined to make the best of this unfortunate situation and will continue to provide families a safe space for ALL children of ALL abilities to play and grow. The gym is more than just an indoor playground. It’s a safe haven for families to bring their children to learn and develop.
“We are so heartbroken but we are resilient,” says Katie on their GoFundMe page. “This is a second home for many of our We Rock families. And this gym wouldn’t be possible without the support of our families, our amazing friends, and local partnering businesses and to all loyal followers… have helped us get the word out about our sensory gym for all kids.”
Earlier this month, we debuted our new tagline, Play With A Purpose™.
Inside the gym, Play With A Purpose™ is exercising and stimulating any of the seven senses through positive physical, emotional, and social development. The development of the senses prepares children for how the world works. We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym has the specially designed sensory-safe equipment, toys, activities, and classes necessary to develop these important senses.
But as an international brand, Play With A Purpose™ is about bringing people together and building communities centered around the inclusion for ALL kids being able to play in the same space. When we see incidents like what happened in Pomona, and the response from the community, we are proud to see our tribe come together and offer the same support we strive to give them each and every day.
We Rock the Spectrum is changing the way the world views sensory development for both neurotypical children and their peers with autism. We are excited to be a part of your journey and we thank all of our amazing We Rock families for their continued love and support.