Benching to Break Barriers

December 7, 2018

Stonehill College's Strength and Conditioning Coach Mark Zabicki hosted the second annual Benching to Break Barriers fundraiser in the Sally Blair Sports Complex varsity weight room on Friday, November 30.

"Benching to Break Barriers", a bench press competition aimed to raise awareness for sexual assault and domestic violence benefited Penelope's Place, a Brockton-based non-profit providing health and human services to Southeastern Massachusetts. Many varsity athletic teams were in attendance, as well as club sports, staff, and Stonehill students. The event raised approximately $1,600 and will benefit domestic violence survivors. 

There were 150 participants at the event and 40 volunteers assisting in all aspects of the event. All participants picked their own weight to bench and they performed as many repetitions as they could. Their average was determined by the equation: weight of bar x repetitions / body weight. The average of the five team members determined the team percentage. 

"I think the event was a success," stated Zabicki. "I was very pleased with the response from the campus community. There was involvement from the varsity level, club teams, general student population, and staff of the college."

After the competition, three representatives from Penelope's Place spoke about what the non-profit does for the surrounding area and personally. Awards were then given out to the winning team which was made up of seniors Christopher Page, Connor Collier, and Thomas Mahoney and juniors Michael Seibold and Ryan Meade all from the men's ice hockey team. Sophomore Connor Williams from the baseball team, raised the most money for the event and received a Stonehill Athletics pullover for his contributions to the success of the event. 

"My favorite part of the event was the high energy each team brought," described junior lacrosse player Jennifer Wheaton. "It was great to see so many people in the Stonehill Community come together to support such a meaningful cause! Mark did a great job getting us all excited to help set up and participate while also emphasizing the importance of the event."

This was the second year for the event and Zabicki aims to continue to grow the event by increasing participation, donations, and awareness of the cause. 

"I couldn't believe the outcome for such a great cause," exclaimed Page. "Everyone was rooting each other on during competition and encouraging one another, which is the message we need to get across the rest of campus and out in the world. When someone is going through a tough time, lend a hand, show support, and make sure that they know they aren't alone."

"We are also very thankful for the donations from RX Bar, Bertucci's Italian Restaurant, Barrett's Restaurant and Sodexo to help enhance the participant's experience. I look forward next year's event!" 

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