An entertaining and educational event for the youth of the community is taking place this week at the Southeast Livestock Pavilion.
The Marion County Florida Department of Health’s BRAZEN team is hosting their 2022 Brazen Bash on Thursday, June 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Pavilion (2232 NE Jacksonville Road in Ocala).
The free event will focus on the theme of success in an increasingly complex world. There will be many activities throughout the event, including a climbing wall, obstacle course and bungee race. Plus, there will be plenty of dining options, music, and multiple giveaways.
There will also be a star guest: Rashad Jones, owner of Big Lee’s Serious About BBQ restaurants in Ocala. Jones will share his inspiring story of how he grew from a homeless teenager to a successful award-winning restaurateur whose dishes are now seen on Food Network’s ‘BBQ Brawl’ show featuring celebrity chef Bobby Flay .
Prior to becoming a restaurant owner, Jones developed FDOH-Marion’s BRAZEN program and managed it for eight years. During this time, he connected with hundreds of Marion County youth as a mentor and motivational speaker.
Jones said, “I’ve been very lucky to be very successful in what I do, right here in Ocala. And a lot of that success comes from really having a clear vision for your life, your choices, your future – really knowing what you’re aiming for.
The BRAZEN program, Jones added, was founded on the idea of helping young people in the community make smart, healthy decisions.
“To make good decisions, you have to be the kind of person who stands out. In life, we come to be the authors of the stories of our own lives. We take the pen, which is our choice, and we write on the pages, which are every day we have in life. That’s what’s cool every day. Every day is a new opportunity to create the kind of story you want in life,” Jones said.
The event is free for anyone ages 11-18, and summer camp programs are encouraged to attend.
For more information on this week’s event, visit the brass stroke webpage or contact the Florida Department of Health in Marion County by phone (352-644-2687) or email ([email protected]).