For Richard Millsap, intense CrossFit workouts helped provide a focus for his faith.
The 33-year-old's devotion was recalled Saturday when roughly 350 to 400 people gathered in Winter Garden to raise money for the family of the popular CrossFit Mosaic gym owner.
He was fatally shot in his gym earlier this month.
"Richard rededicated his life to the Lord three years ago," said Debbie Armstrong, Richard's mother. "He saw CrossFit as a way to combine his faith with what he loved in life."
Friends and Mosaic gym members hope to raise $50,000 for Karen Millsap, Richard's widow, and his 7-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son through donations, an auction and the sales of food, raffle-tickets and T-shirts honoring their friend.
"They are going to need a lot of support and we are here to help them," said Matt Bohannon of Winter Garden, who was Richard Millsap's neighbor, workout buddy and best friend.
Bohannon said local businesses were motivated to help out, too, and donated everything at the event – food, bounce houses, Jeremiah's Italian ice and silent auction items, including memorabilia signed by baseball great Ken Griffey, Jr.
Organizers also arranged several CrossFit exercises for adults and kids to take a crack at during the day.
The free event at Whispering Oak Elementary School in Winter Garden ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and was named after Millsap's slogan: "Fit to Carry the Cross."
Millsap, who moved to Florida from California eight years ago, named his gym after his church — Mosaic Church of Winter Garden — and started each day at the fitness center with a workout of the day and a scripture of the day.
Richard's parents said they hoped Saturday's event would keep the memory of their son alive in the hearts and minds of people in case the community came across information that could lead to an arrest.
Police have not arrested anyone in connection with the Aug. 12 shooting that happened while Richard was leading a class of eight people inside his gym in the 900 block of Carter Road near State Road 429 and West Colonial Drive.
A man wearing sunglasses and a hat walked into the gym at about 6:45 p.m. and opened fire, according to Winter Garden Police Department spokesman Lt. Scott Allen.
Winter Garden police officers attended the fund-raiser to show support for the family. Detectives said the investigation is ongoing and they are working on several leads.
The gunman fled in a getaway car driven by a second suspect. Winter Garden police have not yet identified either of the men.
Millsap was targeted, police said, but no motive has been released. No one else was injured in the shooting.
Millsap T-shirts can be purchased at https://www.booster.com/ug-1377269548675191.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5620 or @jerriannOS