Local mosque donates $10,000 to help gym rebuild after fire

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A local mosque is donating $10,000 to help a nearby gym rebuild after a devastating fire gutted the property in August.

Many powerhouse competitors in gymnastics and cheer trained at Victory Sports in Sugar Land. Lots of sweat. Countless hours of practice and downright commitment.

This year would have been their 20th year in business.

"It has been a rough couple months, hasn't it? It has been. It was probably the last thing I would expect to happen," owner Vicki Dill reflected.

All of her hard work -- two decades of accolades, memories, the keepsakes -- are pretty much gone, except for a few trophies and pictures that were found in the ashes after a fire destroyed the gym in August.

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"It just floored us," Dill told Eyewitness News.

Then, there was a surprise phone call. Dill's neighbors at the Maryam Islamic Center, down the street from the gym, said they had something special for her.

"That just was overwhelming. People that we don't even know that well because they are our neighbors they did that for us," Dill said.

A mother of one of the cheer students set up a donation drive at her mosque. They made posters and spread the word.

"We were shocked, my daughter was in tears. The first thing I said was you know what, we got to do something to help," Aisha Jalali said.

In just three weeks, The Maryam Islamic Center raised more than $10,000 for the gym.

"This is one of the things that Islam teaches us, to help others. If someone's in need, we are the first people to go see how can we help. That's what we did," said the Center's Anwer Wadiwala.

The money will go to much-needed new equipment for the gym, but the generosity started something money cannot buy.

"It made me want to to donate to other people, when that happens to me I'm like, 'Wow, I'm gonna do this for someone,'" Dill shared.

Since students at the gym have nowhere to practice and train, another gym, Iron Cross in Richmond, is letting them train there until they rebuild.

The fire was ruled accidental.
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