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SLO gym holds fundraiser for family of Santa Barbara Co. firefighter paramedic

De Anda fundraiser.PNG
Posted at 3:15 PM, Jan 15, 2022

Headstrong Fit in San Luis Obispo held a memorial barbecue fundraiser Saturday for the family of Joey De Anda.

Friends of the Santa Barbara County firefighter paramedic turned out for a special workout in De Anda’s memory followed by a barbecue and a raffle.

Barbecue tickets were $12 and raffle tickets were $10 with all proceeds going to De Anda's family.

"The best thing about Joey, besides the fact that he could squat over probably 300 pounds or something like that, was the fact that he was one of the most positive people i've ever met,” said Greg Larsen, an ER nurse at French Hospital Medical Center. “He got to know everyone that he ever met. He knew their name, he knew their backstory and every time he met them he would like connect with them again, catch up with them and that’s why he influenced so many people. He’s very unselfish and very genuine."

Headstrong Fit owner and head coach Robby McLaughlin said, “I described him this morning as kinda like an assistant coach. When we were doing classes in a way that he would support and cheer people on, the guy had the biggest heart and the best attitude you could imagine. He filled the room. We have a pretty big gym, too, so he filled that with his energy and his spirit.”

De Anda died in a skiing accident last weekend.

Related: First responders pay tribute to local firefighter who died in skiing accident