Self-defense class for women to be offered Nov. 12 (Updated phone number)
Power-Up, a nonprofit organization founded by Sarah Fuehring of Concordia, will hold self-defense classes for women in Marshall in November.
The classes will be held at Saline County Justice Facility. The class consists of two four-hour sessions, to be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, and Thursday, Nov. 12.
Dinner will be provided each night. Participants will receive a T-shirt and a can of high-quality pepper spray upon completion of the program.
The course fee is $25. Ten scholarships are available, provided by anonymous donors, and based on need. Register for the class, which is limited to 20 participants, by contacting Wood & Huston Bank, KMMO or the sheriff's department. Applications must be received by Oct. 30. No refunds will be given if participants cancel within 14 days of the class. Participants are required to sign a waiver of liability on the first night of class. The signature of a parent or guardian is required for participants under the age of 18.
Fuehring founded Power-Up after an encounter with danger in her own backyard in Concordia. She and her family live just outside the city limits, very close to Interstate 70.
"I was here with the kids alone, outside," she said, "and I heard a horn honking on I-70. When I looked up, (I saw) there was a man in the yard. He didn't attack ... but I made good eye contact with him and he just didn't move on. I turned to take the kids into the house, and when I looked back, he was right behind me."
Fuehring made it into the house, but was still concerned because windows and doors in the house were open and the man could have easily come inside the house.
"And I couldn't stop him," she said.
Just then, her cell phone rang. It was her brother-in-law. As she stuttered out that she and her children were in danger, he said, "I know. I'm the one who honked at you from the highway, and I'm on my way."
Fuehring said, "All I could do was take the kids downstairs, tuck them under the stairway, grab the rifle and load it -- and wait."
By the time her brother-in-law arrived just minutes later, the man was gone. They discovered later that he'd been the subject of interest by local police several times during the day, but had finally left the area.
But now Fuehring was, she said, "Infuriated."
"If I can't protect me, I can't protect my kids, and that absolutely infuriated me -- and (I saw) how quickly it could happen," she said. "So I began looking into self-defense classes, but the nearest one was in Kansas City and that didn't work for me."
After checking with former colleagues -- Fuehring was once an EMT -- she got the name of Sonny Lynch, a nationally recognized self-defense expert, who had done some training for Saline County Sheriff Wally George.
Fuehring said she felt fortunate that someone with Lynch's reputation agreed to work with her.
"Sonny is 'the bomb,'" she said. "He's just wonderful."
Fuehring herself is now certified to teach the class, bringing the total of instructors in the program to three.
"Some women relate better to women instructors, and some relate better to men," she said. "So we have both."
Now that the program is well underway, Fuehring said they've reached a lot of women.
"We taught the first class the last week of May. It's amazing to get to the women we're getting to. We will have reached 200 women by the end of November," she said. "Right now, we're in the middle of a class in Alma, and the age range of the women is from 13 to 71."
Sheriff George is very excited about the program. "Sonny Lynch has taught several classes for me and I know he's a high-quality instructor. I highly recommend this type of training for women."
For more information about the class, contact the Sheriff's department at 660-886-5511, KMMO at 660-886-7422 or Wood & Huston Bank at 660-886-6825. Contact Sarah Fuehring by phone at 816-716-1858 or by e-mail at email@example.com.