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Brandon News

Plant City man drops 129 pounds thanks to kindness program


Published:   |   Updated: December 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM

BRANDON – When the story of Rodney Burton’s spontaneous gesture of buying a teacher’s school supplies lit up social media, it got the attention of Tampa attorney Kendall Almerico, a co-founder of Crowd It Forward: Random Acts of Crowdfunding.

Almerico and co-founder Tess Hottenroth created a project called Rodney Gives Results. This online appeal recognized fitness guru Burton’s bigheartedness by seeking $350 to pay for 10 personal training sessions for someone at his gym for whom the cost would be a challenge.

After 29 people contributed a total of $350, Almerico and Hottenroth presented a check Nov. 22 to Burton at his gym, Results Health and Nutrition, 626 Oakfield Drive.

Present was 55-year-old Plant City resident Kenny Roberts, whom Burton chose as the recipient of the free sessions because Roberts is the biggest weight-loser at Results Health and Nutrition.

In the previous 44 weeks of training with Burton, Roberts, a plumber with the School District of Hillsborough County’s maintenance east division, lost 129 pounds.

Roberts and his daughter, Tabitha Chapman, train together with Burton.

“We feed off each other,” said Roberts. “Support makes it easier.”

Roberts said his wife, Patty Roberts, “is my rock. She’s an awesome support. She walks with me, encourages me. I can’t say how blessed I am that God sent me here at the right time of my life to make me healthier.”

Roberts told Burton and the Crowd It Forward team, “I thank you and all the people who donated. It amazes me there are still good people in this world. You’ve encouraged me to go out and do something for somebody.”

“We’re just happy to be able to recognize what Rodney did and do one of our random acts of crowdfunding and keep this great story going forward,” said Almerico. “That’s what we do. Help people in need and reward people who perform kindnesses. Nobody deserves it more.”

Send good-news stories to Barbara Routen at Neighbors@tampabay.rr.com.

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