When the true crime special featuring Amy Lord aired last month, it reinvigorated Andrea Regan’s feeling that she should do something to honor the 24-year-old South Boston woman who was murdered in 2013.
The television special generated buzz in the community, Regan, the owner of East Side Yoga & Fitness, said. But amidst the buzz, Regan realized that some people who had moved to South Boston in the last couple of years did not know about Lord.
“So many new people moved to South Boston,” Regan said. “It just kind of bothered me that no one knew the story.”
This weekend, Regan and her husband, Tom Regan, are organizing a self-defense workshop honoring Lord, a way to generate funds for a park named in the Wilbraham native’s honor, to ensure her story is not forgotten, and to help people learn self-defense techniques.
When she first mentioned to young women at the studio that she was planning this workshop in remembrance of Lord, “no one knew her story,” Regan said.
In July 2013, Amy Lord was kidnapped at her South Boston apartment and killed by Edwin Alemany. Alemany was sentenced to life in jail without parole last year.
The self-defense workshop is at Regan’s Motivated Fitness – which Tom Regan has owned for eight years – Saturday afternoon. Amy Lord was a member of Regan’s Motivated Fitness.
Regan’s has always held self-defense workshops, Andrea Regan said, but this is the first one they’re holding in honor of Lord.
The Regan’s have the support of Amy Lord’s mother, Cindy Lord, Andrea Regan said, calling Cindy “the most gracious, giving woman.” Cindy called this self-defense workshop honoring her daughter, “wonderful,” Regan said, and added that at some point she would like to see something that gives back to the South Boston community.
“We feel like if we start with this, start kind of getting people to be safe… and then figure out where to go from there,” Regan said.
This first-time workshop in honor of Lord will give all its proceeds to “Amy’s Sparkle Park” in Wilbraham, which opened last year.
“We will continue with self-defense workshops,” Regan said. “We do want to give back (to the community), and especially so that Amy’s mom requested that.”
At the self-defense workshops, participants are taught not only physical self-defense techniques, but are also instructed in mental awareness. Awareness, Regan said, includes reminding people not to walk or run the same route every day, not to walk around with headphones on or while texting, and to check the back seat of your car as you enter it.
“Little stuff like that that we tend to forget anyway,” Regan said.
Participants will also learn physical techniques and practice kicking and hitting in the workshop.
“The physical aspect is there as well,” she said. “It’s hand-eye coordination, you’re kicking as well.”
As of the beginning of the week, the workshop was about half full. And if it does fill and there is a high demand, Regan said they’ll schedule another one to accommodate community members and honor Amy Lord.
“We’re really looking forward to it on Saturday,” she said.
The self-defense workshop in honor of Amy Lord is Saturday, April 2, from noon to 1:30 p.m., at Regan’s Motivated Fitness, 315 West Broadway. The cost is $30 and all proceeds will go to “Amy’s Sparkle Park” in Wilbraham. Donations are accepted in the form or cash or check. Register at regansmotivatedfitness.com.