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Jessica OrbonNov 10, 2017, 3:38 pmNov 13, 2017, 1:41 pm

Montvale gym hosts annual push-up competition, raising money for veterans

Facility looks to exceed last year’s fundraising goals of $8K

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MONTVALE — The Gym uses fitness to thank local veterans for protecting the U.S.

The facility was transformed into a military boot camp on Friday to hold its annual push-up competition in efforts to raise money that goes toward changing the lives of local veterans.

"This is very important to me because, honestly, this is the nicest thing that anybody's ever done for me," says Lance Corporal Jonah Eisenstark.

This year, 16 people made up of gym trainers, staff and veterans took on the battle of the bulging muscles as they did push-ups for one minute to help raise money for Homes for Veterans, an organization that specially adapts the homes and cars of disabled veterans for free.

Eisenstark became paralyzed from the knees down when he had a seizure behind the wheel after returning home from the Middle East.

With money raised from last year's fundraiser, Homes for Veterans completely renovated Eisenstark's house to accommodate his wheelchair.

Lance Corporal Kyle Chappell was also left paralyzed by a car accident.

Chappell wasn't able to drive on his own until Homes for Veterans made modifications to his car with the money raised at a past fundraiser.

"I think it's totally positive and good. It's really helpful to veterans in the area, and if there are any veterans that need anything, you reach out to these people and they make it happen," says Chappell.

The total number of push-ups counted came to 912.

The facility -- actually named "The Gym" -- says they're looking forward to beating last year's goal of $8,000.

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