Georgia Gym Raises $437,766 for Childhood Cancer, Hopes to Hit $500,000 this Summer
For a few years, John Manser participated in a local 24-hour bike ride fundraiser, raising some “serious money” for childhood cancer research along the way.
When the bike fundraiser was canceled, he was left feeling “a void,” explained Manser, the owner of CrossFit Dynamo in Cumming, GA for the last 11 years.
- At the same time, Manser looked around at his gym’s space and thought, “This has to be more than just for CrossFit. We should be able to leverage this for other stuff,” he said.
That’s when Manser decided to bring the 24-hour fundraiser idea to his gym community.
The result was 24 in 24—where participants complete 24 WODs in 24 hours—a fundraiser that has raised $437,766 for childhood cancer research since 2017.
The details: Manser didn’t know what to expect that first year and had humble goals for his community.
- “My goal was $1,000 for every hour, so I was hoping, praying, for $24,000,” he remembered. In the end, he more than doubled this goal, raising $49,804 for the Rally Foundation, an organization dedicated to childhood cancer research.
Since then, Manser’s fundraiser, which brings out between 55 and 100-plus participants a year, has averaged $72,000 a year—with their biggest year raising more than $100,000—so he knows reaching that $500,000 mark this summer is well within their grasp.
- “We want over $62,000 (this year). With the economy the way it is, you never know, but we’re going to push to hit $62,234,” he said.
One big thing: Part of the reason Manser selected the Rally Foundation as their charity of choice is because they give $2 to $3 million dollars a year to promising researchers who aren’t government funded.
- “This is very grassroots stuff,” he said, adding that the Foundation even lets Manser’s community choose which grants and research their money will fund.
The big picture: Manser would love for other gyms to participate in the 24 WODs in 24 hours fundraiser with his community, the ultimate goal being to get to a place where the community can raise a couple hundred thousand dollars a year.
That being said, the fundraiser does so much more for a gym community than just raising money. Each year, it brings out “the CrossFitters with the biggest hearts” and creates an unmatched sense of purpose in the community, Manser explained.
- “You really get people down to their true essence…It becomes highly emotional by the end, but it’s just very fulfilling for everyone involved,” he said.
“It galvanizes us. Absolutely.”