Taekwondo school gets kicks from community involvement
With Halloween tricks and treats nearly upon us, the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce has found three new nominees for its next sensational business award, to be celebrated at the next quarterly luncheon.
Among the top-three nominees for this quarter's award are Sandy Cinema, Sandy Family Restaurant and U.S. World Class Taekwondo.
The Sandy Post has featured each business in an effort to better acquaint the community with the nominees before the voting process in the coming weeks.
As a child, Master Sam Lider found discipline and solace in the martial arts. For the better part of a decade, he's worked to offer the same opportunities to Sandy youths at U.S. World Class Taekwondo, 36655 Highway 26.
"Like a lot of kids, (Sam) had a lot of energy," Claire Lider, Sam's wife said. "He honestly believes without martial arts he wouldn't have made it through school."
The Liders purchased their first school in Gresham in 2009 and now own five of the 30 U.S. World Class Taekwondo Association's schools. Sandy was special to the Liders, who both grew up in small towns, because of the vibe.
"We have several locations, but obviously our heart is in Sandy," Claire explained. "Sandy was the first location where we decided to build from the ground up because of the community."
Claire herself didn't come on board at the schools until 2011, but quickly found her interest in public service fulfilled through teaching children.
"I really saw when I tied my first kid's white belt the reason for my husband's passion," she recalled. "It's definitely the students that make the studio out here. We just help facilitate the people that are there."
Besides classes at their Sandy Marketplace location, the Liders enjoy offering chances for local students to learn taekwondo in after-school programs.
"We understand that not everyone can do taekwondo because of financial situations and time constraints," Claire Lider added. "There's a whole different group of kids we get to meet by doing after-school programs."
In an effort to give back to the community more directly, the Liders also try to participate in local events and host donation drives at the school.
"Every local event we can find to do out there, we definitely try to become a part of," she said. "We invested ourselves and time in meeting people. We still have people (here) that signed up at our grand opening. To look back at where we were and where we are now, it's truly because of the community and the families in our school that we've been noticed for this award. I think with any kind of nomination, it's always nice to see what you've done to be recognized."