The devastation felt by the Thousand Oaks community in California recently is almost unimaginable. On November 7, the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill took 12 lives and injured many more. Just one day later, the Woolsey and Hill Fires ignited, wreaking havoc and forcing evacuations in and around the town.
Thousand Oaks is home to DojoBoom, the trampoline and Ninja park managed by American Ninja Warrior competitor Kevin Bull. The location is less than a mile from the Borderline Bar and Grill. The staff members, many of whom are locals, were left reeling by the events.
Kevin shared with us, “It has been a difficult time for the community and my team at DojoBoom. The shock of the shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill did not have time to settle when the fires began. My staff and I choose to focus on our work during those times. We stayed open when many businesses in the area were closing their doors. Some of my employees shared shifts covering each other while taking time to help family evacuate. We felt it was important to turn around do what we could to help with the recovery efforts.”
The urge to help inspired Kevin to organize Bounce Back Thousand Oaks, a dodgeball tournament to raise money for the Ventura County Community Foundation. The event took place on December 7, one month after the heartbreak began. Local celebrities were drafted on to teams and free tickets to spectate were given out on a first come, first served basis.
“The celebrity dodgeball tournament was attended by Christopher Titus, Aiden Miner, Ben and Matthew Royer, and the Ninjas were represented by Travis Brewer and myself. The Thousand Oaks Police Department also got behind the event, sending two teams of their own to participate. It was great to get moving, throw some foam balls at each other and celebrate the resilience of this community,” Kevin said.
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This is gonna be awesome! Dodge-Ball for a cause Come join me and my friends for a Dodge-Ball tournament and free jump at DojoBoom to benefit the VCCF funds for victims of the Southern California Fires and Borderline Shooting THIS FRIDAY Dec 7 from 3 to 5 PM - that’s tomorrow Bring your dodge-ball crew with you and you may end up on my team or with one of: @no.chill.gil @titusnation @thebenroyer @thematthewroyer @travisbrewer.ninja @kevin_the_bull Register your team through the @dojoboom facebook event #DojoBoom is amazing fun - d-ball, parkour, tramp, mini ANW course, aerial, etc. #ifyoucandodgeawrench #youcandodgeaball #greatcause #bethere
Throughout the truly awful experiences endured by Thousand Oaks, one thing remains clear: They will stick together and work to recover.
“Thousand Oaks is a great community. Surrounded on one side by costal pacific mountains and on the other by desert hills. I have greatly enjoyed the running trails, rock climbing and other outdoors activities near town in my time here. It is half an hour from Los Angeles giving the people who live here a slightly slower pace of life while still being near to everything the city of angles has to offer. The town is very family oriented with great schools and active families, sports leagues and clubs.”
The event raised over $2700 for relief efforts, but the work isn’t done yet. If you’re not local to the area and would still like to contribute, you can make a donation online. Kevin recommends supporting VCCF.
“There has been a large outpouring of food and clothing and other emergency items, but funds are still being raised through the Ventura County Community Fund for victims of both the fires and the shootings. They can be found at vccf.org.”