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Costumed-themed weightlifting raises money for breast cancer awareness

Updated: Oct. 28, 2018 at 8:03 PM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Weightlifters and breast cancer survivors came together for a colorful event in Biloxi on Sunday.

The Smashing Breast Cancer Block Party saw costumed strong men and women taking aim at the deadly disease. It started as an idea for a charity pumpkin toss but turned into much more at Iron Works Gym in Biloxi.

“My partner Brendan with Body Access had the idea to do a pumpkin toss,” said organizer Jessica Hebert. “Also he had the idea to do a costume contest dead lift party, so we started kind of bouncing ideas off of each other. It turned out to be a little bit more than what we planned but I think that it’s a good thing.”

Costume themed weightlifting raises money for breast cancer awareness
Costume themed weightlifting raises money for breast cancer awareness

For Hebert and Brendan Jones, the idea of a costumed-theme strong man event was a hit.

“As word got out in the gym it just kind of snowballed into what we’ve got today,” Jones said. “We’ve got pumpkin tosses going on. We’ve got a lot of different vendors and people in the fitness community coming together for a really really good cause.”

All funds raised were donated to Pink Heart Funds.

"The Pink Hearts fund, we wanted to do something local so we know where it's going," Jones said. "The biggest thing for me is they don't charge any of the patients for the wigs.

Jones said he chose Pink Heart Funds because of its local ties to the Gulf Coast. Founder JoAnn Nicely was thrilled to receive Brendan’s call.

“Of course that’s an amazing phone call to receive,” Nicely said. “We feel very blessed because there are so many women on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that cannot get breast reconstruction surgery, so we provide them with the free breast prosthetics.”

Along with the pumpkin toss, there was a costume dead lift competition and tug of war. For Nicely, the support is a big deal to all cancer patients and survivors.

“It’s wonderful to have this kind of support because of the fact that we don’t just help women with cancer, we help so many with breast cancer,” she said. “The majority of the people that we help are with breast cancer.”

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