The Florida Department of Health in Marion County (FDOH-Marion) will be hosting a free summertime event that aims to entertain and educate the community’s youth.
FDOH-Marion’s BRAZEN team is holding its Brazen Bash 2022 on Thursday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion (2232 NE Jacksonville Road in Ocala).
The event will focus on the topic of finding success in an increasingly complex world. There will be numerous activities throughout the event, including a rock-climbing wall, obstacle course, and bungee run. In addition, there will be plenty of food options, music, and multiple giveaways.
There will also be a featured guest: Rashad Jones, owner of Big Lee’s Serious About BBQ restaurants in Ocala. Jones will share his inspiring story about how he rose from being a homeless teenager to become a successful, award-winning restaurateur whose dishes are now seen on Food Network’s “BBQ Brawl” show starring renowned chef Bobby Flay.
Prior to becoming a restaurant owner, Jones developed FDOH-Marion’s BRAZEN program and managed it for eight years. During that time, he connected with hundreds of Marion County’s youth as a mentor and a motivational speaker.
Jones said, “I’ve been very fortunate in having a lot of success in what I do, right here in Ocala. And a big part of that success comes from really having a clear-cut 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 the community’s youth make smart and healthy decisions.
“In order to make great decisions, you have to be the kind of person that stands out. In life, we get to be the authors of the stories of our own lives. We get to take the pen, which is our choices, and we get to write on the pages, which are each day that we have in life. That’s the cool thing about each day. Each day is a new opportunity to create the kind of story you want in life,” said Jones.
The upcoming event is free to attend for anyone ages 11 to 18, and summer camp programs are encouraged to attend.