Crossfit for a cure

This summer, Wilfrid Laurier University alumnus Matt Stonkus and his brother Alex combined athletics and philanthropy to raise awareness and support for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Over the course of a month the brothers have raised close to $11,000, holding charity events at CrossFit gyms across the country.

“The reason why we chose the Alzheimer Society was our grandmother,” explained Matt Stonkus. “She’s had the disease for 20 years.”

Stonkus, who played for the men’s varsity rugby team at Laurier, said that he became involved in CrossFit, a workout methodology comprised of weightlifting, sprinting and various gymnastic activities, after looking for a new training program. Alex, a McMaster University graduate, also has a history of participating in CrossFit and currently coaches the discipline part-time at a Pickering gym.

Having seen other successful charity events held in the CrossFit community, the pair thought it would be a good way to fundraise for Alzheimer’s.

“What we did was send emails to every single gym across Canada,” said Stonkus, continuing that after receiving over 30 responses from gyms interested in their cause, they mapped out their fundraising tour.

Events were held starting May 31 in Montreal and ended on June 28 in Victoria.
The brothers would visit each gym and explain to the participants that came out why and how they were raising money.

Stonkus remarked, “Each workout was like a little contest.” The winner of each workout received a CrossFitters For A Cure t-shirt.

T-shirts were also for sale to raise proceeds for the Alzheimer Society and participants could donate directly to the charity.

“It was pretty eye opening just how giving and generous everyone was,” commented Stonkus.
Despite the success of the event, Stonkus expressed that he doesn’t think he would plan such an extensive fundraiser in combination with a month of travelling again.

The month on the road, which included missing his own convocation, was as Stonkus described “worthwhile.” He is already looking forward to organizing smaller events.

“At my gym now in Vancouver we’re getting involved and may be running another charity event in a couple of months,” said Stonkus.

“I think that CrossFit is a great way to raise money and awareness.”

To learn more about CrossFit For A Cure visit http://cfforacure.wordpress.com/

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