• When: 10/27/18
  • QIC: T-Bone

It’s beginning to feel like Fall, and none too soon, considering that the CoopStrong Fall Festival is quickly approaching.  For those of you who haven’t heard, the CoopStrong Fall Festival is on Saturday, October 27 from 1-5 pm at Jaycee Park. The festival includes a fun-filled day full of games, prizes, inflatables, a rock wall, face painting, silent auctions, a DJ, workouts including yoga, Zumba, FOOD and much more!

CoopStrong Wristbands will be presold for $8 each (www.coopstrong.org), or $10 the day of the event (ECU students with One card can purchase wristbands the day of the event for $8). Entrance price includes your CoopStrong bracelet, Goody bag (limited amounts), access to all games with prizes, inflatables, workouts and food!  

So, here’s the deal…..your participation is super important in this event for 3 reasons:

  1. All of the proceeds from this event will go to CoopStrong for ALS research.  This is another way for us to carry the legacy of Nelson Cooper (a.k.a. PapaSmurf), our original Nantan forward.  This Festival is being planned and led by an ECU class in Recreation and Leisure Studies, so the event itself is not only important to CoopStrong, but also to the students, who are developing essential communication leadership skills in the planning and execution of this event
  2. This is a great FAMILY event.  Where else can you take your family for a few hours, enjoy the great outdoors, have some awesome food and a great fun-filled day?  I can tell you where. NOWHERE. This is a great value! If the rumors are true, I can assure you that the food alone is worth the cost of the admission!
  3. Workouts….I underlined it above so you’d be sure to see it.  You need to be there because this is a great opportunity for F3 and FiA to show others what we do and get to promote ourselves in the community and hopefully EH a few people.   We need your presence to make this happen!



F3 and FiA are converging for a workout at 3:30 and we want and need you there to participate in the workout!  So mark your calendars, inform your spouse, and plan on spending the afternoon at the Festival. Wear your F3/FiA workout gear and plan to show your spouse, your children, and those in the community what F3 and FiA are all about!



Nelson Cooper was an associate professor of recreation and park management at East Carolina University, and was instrumental in launching F3 in Greenville in January 2015.  He had hoped that the organization, whose name stands for Fitness, Fellowship and Faith, would help motivate him to achieve the type of active lifestyle that he encouraged his students to pursue.

Nicknamed Papa Smurf, he was the original F3ENC Nantan.  In the Spring of 2016, PapaSmurf began experiencing symptoms that prompted him to back away from his F3 routine. On June 27, doctors told him those symptoms were the result of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

It is not the first time that PapaSmurf or his family had experience with ALS.   They were part of a circle of friends for former ECU baseball coach Keith LeClair, who died from the disease in 2006 at age 40.

Friends started selling “Coop Strong” bumper stickers and wristbands with photos of supporters sporting the bands at locations throughout the world showing up on Facebook and Twitter and social media spread the word throughout F3Nation.  There were things posted on FB and Twitter nearly every day related to CoopStrong, and F3 men all across the nation who didn’t even know PapaSmurf were praying for him and his family.

This prompted F3ENC to utilize the second annual Sasquatch (CSAUP) in July 2016 as a fundraiser for the Coopers.

Ultimately, Nelson Cooper (PapaSmurf) died on May 18, 2017 at the ag of 50, but his legacy continues through the CoopStrong non-profit, formed to honor his memory. CoopStrong seeks to support the fight against ALS by assisting local families living with the disease and supporting ALS research. CoopStrong also keeps the memory and legacy of Nelson Cooper alive through ECU scholarships.

F3ENC has and will continue to support CoopStrong in honor and memory of PapaSmurf by leading and participating in local events and fundraisers.


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