A picture of the weighlifters that participated in the Bench for Bucks fundraiser on Nov. 17 with organizer and coach Jean Happel in front.
A picture of the weighlifters that participated in the Bench for Bucks fundraiser on Nov. 17 with organizer and coach Jean Happel in front.

Lifting coach and fund-raising organizer, Jean Happel, reports that 22 lifters participated in the weight room "Bench for Bucks" event!

"We had some great fun," reports Happel. "To say the least, this community has given very generously to support the weight room and the work the kids do there."

On Nov. 17, a friendly bench-press competition with various kids was part of the event. The students solicited pledges per bench press or just a flat donation. The results were as follows:

• Girls benching 55 lbs. - 1st place Autumn Bornholdt with 31 reps, 2nd place Addy Cross with 25 reps and 3rd to Nicki Ellingson with 18 reps. Also participating was Nikki Hansen with 15 reps;

• Boys age 12-13 benching 55 lbs. - 1st Sam Sanness 33 reps and 2nd Casey Otterness 15 reps;

• Boys age 14-15 benching 105 lbs. - 1st place Harrison Speltz with 33 reps, 2nd Jordan Jaster 24 reps, 3rd Keenan Siminski 22 reps, and other participants were Alex Englehardt, Damon Cody and Dillon Kampschroer; and

• Boys age 16-18 benching 135 lbs. - 1st Nick Holty 36 reps, 2nd Zach Sanness 26 reps and 3rd place was a tie between Larry Schulte and Josh Olerud with 25 reps each. Also participating were Matt Schleich and Mikal Guberud.

To top things off, there was a little side competition with a few guys benching 185 lbs. Kyle Kampschroer took third with 10 reps and then alumni Andy Folz and current lifter Caleb Happel went head to head. It was close as Folz took second with 23 reps and Caleb came out on top with 26 reps.

"It (the event) was so much fun and took just about 45 minutes, so next year we are hoping for more and maybe adding another lift, stay tuned," Happel said.

To date, the event has raised over $3,000 and the Spring Grove Athletic Boosters are matching the fund-raising dollar for dollar!

All of the money raised will go to replacing and updating weight room equipment.

"Just a few fun facts, we had 451 reps all together for a total weight of 49,545 lbs. that was benched that day," Happel pointed out!

Happel thanks the top fundraisers - Damon Cody, Kyle Kampschroer, Nikki Hansen, Nick Holty and Caleb Happel!

She added, "I want to express my deep appreciation to Kyle Kampschroer. He has been such a great support to the weight room, to our kids and raised and donated himself very generously!"

"We had a great day, lots of fun. Next year, we hope will be bigger and better!"

She pointed out, "Three of the girls that competed were at a basketball scrimmage in Caledonia, came during their break and went back to Caledonia to then scrimmage against Caledonia - that is how much they are committed to seeing this weight room improve!"

Happel exclaimed, "Those are the kind of kids we have in Spring Grove. They give, and they give, and they give some more! They are the glue that holds this community together! My hats are off to these kids and their efforts."