Excel Fitness Center Climb High for Semper Fi Event Rallies Community to Support Injured Veterans

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Bernardsville Gym Hosts ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ Fundraiser for Semper Fi Fund on Saturday, February 21

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Men and women are constantly putting themselves on the line to protect our freedom—but often times, we simply take their service for granted, without giving it a lot of thought.

WHAT: Climb High for Semper Fi, a fundraising event for Semper Fi Fund
WHEN: Saturday, February 21, 9:25am to 12 noon
WHERE: Excel Fitness Center, 139 Morristown Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924

Excel Fitness Center invites the community of Bernardsville and greater North Jersey to rally for wounded, critically ill and injured veterans, and take part in a one-of-a-kind fundraising event: on Saturday, February 21, gym owner Mark Neilan will take on his team of trainers to see who can climb highest—and fastest—for Semper Fi Fund.

Excel Fitness Center has made a tradition of supporting service members over the past three years through various events and fundraisers, including the annual Marine Corps Marathon. This year, they’re looking to raise more than any other event before, with a record-breaking goal of $100,000 in donations.

The event kicks off at 9:30am with a salute to the American Flag and pledge of allegiance led by a local Cub Scout Troop. For the next hour, community athletes will scale the Jacob’s Ladder, a piece of climbing equipment generously donated by the company itself. Then, the competition kicks off at 10:30. Using one Jacob’s Ladder, each trainer will scale the climbing equipment for 10 minutes apiece, while simultaneously, Mark will climb another for a full 60 minutes to see which team can climb the most steps.

Supporting our nation’s military families is a cause close to Mark’s heart: "Men and women are constantly putting themselves on the line to protect our freedom—but often times, we simply take their service for granted, without giving it a lot of thought. Running the Marine Corps Marathon, or climbing the Jacob’s Ladder, I take this time to reflect on all that they do for me and my family.”

As for why he chose Semper Fi Fund to support, “The stories are just incredible. When service members landed in the hospital, they made sure their families could be by their side; when they had nothing, with all of their belongings locked away in a footlocker, Semper Fi Fund brought clothing. They’ve helped with jobs, helped these men and women return to society. And through programs like Team Semper Fi and Team America’s Fund, they can be part of a team again. When I’m on the Jacob’s Ladder, that's what keeps me going."

Attendees are encouraged to “bet” on their favorite, Team Mark or Team Excel; but with 100% of funds raised going directly to Semper Fi Fund, everyone is a winner.

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Jade Cortez
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