“There is no better joy than helping people around you go to levels higher than they ever thought they could.” -Dan Gilbert
Throughout the first eight months of its existence, the Life on Life Initiative has impacted thousands of lives across the globe. Besides the Life Leadership corporate initiative to combat illiteracy through donations and employee involvement, every other project to date has been coordinated by creative and caring Life Leadership Members throughout the various markets. This volunteer army that has taken society by storm is making a positive impact in every way imaginable. From raking leaves to visiting the elderly to giving blood to feeding the homeless to building homes for the needy, Life Leadership Members have shown their true colors by selflessly serving those that need a hand up in their local communities.
Life on Life Pennsylvania Project
Recently, one such Life Leadership Member, Alexis Lukonen, decided to up the game a little bit. After hearing about all of the amazing things that the Life on Life Initiative was accomplishing around the world, Alexis decided to propose Life Leadership’s biggest project to date–The Pennsylvania Project. The only problem with an idea of this magnitude was the obvious great financial need. While in conversation with AGO Spokeman Chris Swanson, the concept was sparked to have an all-out fundraiser at the Life Leadership New Year’s Summit 2016. But how to make this fundraiser both productive and fun? Leave it to Chris Swanson to come up with Life Leadership’s first-ever Life on Life Push-up Contest!
Life Leadership Push-up Contest Results
In just under six hours on January 24th, 2016, over 800 people from all different age groups, backgrounds, and professions participated in the Life on Life Push-up Contest at the Life Leadership New Year’s Summit that was spread across three different locations–Quebec City, QC, Sandy, UT, and Louisville, KY. The event was one of the highlights of the weekend, as thousands of people gathered around the participating teammates to pledge their support.
Lindsey Spiewak, a nine-month pregnant Life Leadership Member, joined Chris Swanson on stage to take away all excuses. With her belly almost touching the ground in the extended push-up position, Lindsey dropped down and gave 4 awesome push-ups for everyone to see. It was mind-blowing to watch as hundreds of Life Leadership Members across all three locations (Quebec and Utah watched the recording the next day) lined up at the stage to “sponsor” Lindsey’s push-ups in support of the Pennsylvania Project. In total, Lindsey alone raised over $15,000 to help this family in need.
Out in Sandy, Utah, another awe-inspiring lady left people speechless. Brooke Nelson was born with no legs, but that hasn’t stopped her from making a difference! As she rolled into the Push-up Contest area on her wheelchair, she decided that she wanted to do her part, as well. A couple of minutes later, with the help and support of friends and teammates, Brooke pounded out 38 solid push-ups of her own!
The testimonies go on and on, but to share just one more, a 56 year old gentleman at the Louisville location also made the excuses go away. To quote All Grace Outreach Spokesman Chris Swanson:
“Jerry Moroz has been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis since he was a child. In and out of hospitals. In fact, he was in the hospital just 1 day before the Life Leadership New Year’s Summit this past weekend. What the staff didn’t know was that Jerry had already committed to a push-up contest prior to his admission. He may have been vomiting blood, sick and weak, but he still told the Doctors
that he had to get out because he had a Life Leadership push-up contest to compete in! Against their direction, Jerry checked out Friday, the day before the Summit, with his IV treatment instructions in hand and left for Louisville to compete and reach his goal of 30 push-ups. On Saturday, my brother Jerry Mroz was front leaning rest banging out his push-ups. Unfortunately he missed his goal of 30. He did 31 and raised almost $1,000.00 for All Grace Outreach! Jerry is an example for all of us. Not our past, an illness, an obstacle or anything else should ever stop you from your goal! Jerry Mroz is a stud and I’m proud of him!”
A contest of this enormity does not happen all by itself, so we want to say a huge “Thank you” to each one of the rock stars at the three locations that volunteered their time and energy to move everything along smoothly and effectively. In a little less than six hours, a tad over $122,000 worth of pledges were turned in for the Life on Life Push-up Contest! It goes without saying that as each CAB Coordinator Team took their turn to participate in the contest, hundreds of people were involved in the pledging, participating, and volunteering. Every single person made a difference, and Life Leadership is proud to be represented by such giving and loving hearts.
Life on Life Push-up Contest Winners!
To make things fair, Life Leadership COO Rob Hallstrand, CEO Chris Brady and AGO Spokesman Chris Swanson came up with the idea to have both Male and Female winners of the Push-up Contest in three different categories: Most Push-Ups Completed, Most Pledged Donations, and Most Pledges per Push-Up. The Grand Champion (the overall winner of all three categories) in both the Male and Female divisions won an all-expense-paid mission trip to the beautiful country of Chile with Chris Swanson! Below you will find the final results across all three New Year’s Summit locations:
Life Leadership was proud to award each of these winners with a trophy to remember the awesome experience at this first-ever Life on Life Push-up Contest! As you can see above, Joe Tullis from Sandy, Utah, and Haley Frey from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, gave their all and walked away with a ticket for a free mission trip with Chris Swanson that will take place in June 2016.
The beautiful thing about this fundraiser is that it was all based on the honor system. “Pledges raised” obviously didn’t equal “Funds collected” at the convention because many people had to go back home and collect the pledges from their friends, family and acquaintances. At the writing of this article, over $60,000 has already come in, but we want to remind everyone that still needs to collect their pledges that they can send them in with a check or money order made out to “All Grace Outreach” to 200 Commonwealth Court, Cary, NC 27511. (Make sure to write “Push-up Contest” on the memo line) If you would rather use a credit or debit card to fulfill your pledges, jump on over to www.youcaring.com/pa-project and click on the “Donate Now” button.
Life Leadership would like to extend a formal “Thank you” to everyone that was involved in this Life on Life Initiative event. This community shows time and again that it will rise to the task when a challenge is given; and because of the hearts of tens of thousands of like-minded individuals, so many people are blessed–including those giving the blessing! When the Pennsylvania Project is complete, we will post a follow-up blog article to highlight all of the good that your donations were able to accomplish. Check out this slideshow to see just how awesome this Push-up Contest turned out to be: