Fitness Event Brings a Diverse Group Together to Support Central Ohio Pediatric Cancer Retreat

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Fourth Annual Lifting Hopes Pump and Run Open for Registratration

What do you get when you combine the Women’s Ohio State University Rugby Club, the rising star in Ohio’s non-profit world and an organization celebrating 10 years of brightening the lives of families battling pediatric cancer? Answer: The biggest and best Lifting Hopes Pump and Run yet.

Lifting Hopes, a local organization started by local businessmen and entrepreneurs Mike Morgan and Bill Balderaz, is dedicated to giving children with pediatric cancer and their families hope for the future. The organization hosts the Lifting Hopes Pump and Run ( each year in October. This year’s Lifting Hopes pump and run will be in New Albany on October 13th.

Not familiar with a Pump and Run? The concept was made famous here in Columbus as part of the Arnold Classic weekend. Participants bench press a portion of their body weight and then run a 5K. Each rep on the bench takes 30 seconds off the participants run time. The lowest combined time wins. This year, the event has added a 5K run that does not include a lifting portion. The event is limited to 600 participants.

Both Morgan and Balderaz are avid lifters and runners. Both have also unexpectedly lost parents in recent years and decided to put their interest in fitness to good use. They adopted Chapel Hill House, a ten year old non profit in Central Ohio that offers log cabin weekend getaways to kids and families fighting cancer, as the cause they most wanted to support. “We wanted to create a way that we could bring hope to the families in the central Ohio that were dealing with pediatric cancer every day,” said Balderaz, “We were excited when we thought of the idea of doing a pump and run. It was a way that we could bring together something that we had passion for, giving hope to pediatric cancer families.

“Chapel Hill House is having one of its busiest years ever,” Morgan said. “The cabin at Chapel Hill House is booked solid every weekend in the summer and fall and the weekdays are filling up now too. Events like Lifting Hopes go a long way to ensuring that the cabin will be available to the families who need it most.”

“Lifting Hopes has gotten bigger and better each year. This event is a key part in helping us help the kids and families who most need a getaway,” Jason Joseph, President of the Chapel Hill House board said.

This year’s event will feature Nellie Krumlauf, founder of Nellie’s Catwalk for kids, will be on hand as the honorary chairperson. In addition, the Ohio State University Women’s Rugby Club will be the guest spotters, bench judges and course volunteers.

“It’s great to see such a diverse group come together to help Chapel Hill House,” Joseph said.

Participants can register at

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Bill Balderaz
since: 04/2010
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Lifting Hopes
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