HOBOKEN, NJ – Last weekend, a group of people "did squat" for the local food pantry. The "Battle of the Booty Squat Competition" went down on Saturday, November 21—and over 20,000 squats later, teams were able to raise a total of $15,591.95 for the Hoboken Community Center.

Sponsored by FLAG (Front Line Appreciation Group) of HBKN and JC, groups from Fit Foundry, The Inner Athlete, Crossfit Hoboken, Hudson River Athletics and Brazen Athletics hosted squat sessions for participants to come by and do as many squats as they could for the cause.

“It really is a testament of a community coming together to take care of their most vulnerable and using fitness to make it fun,” said Amy Frank Goldman of FLAG. “It is also amazing to me that these gym owners, who were shut down for months and are now subject to significant restrictions, offered to partner with me to make this such a massive success.”

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The Hoboken Community Center (HCC) currently provides affordable housing for 96 individuals. HCC also opened a small food pantry to provide essential needs—such as food and personal hygiene supplies—to anyone in the community who experiences food insecurity.

The Battle of the Booty had participants donating entry fees while sponsors gave money based on the amount of squats executed. In addition to the money raised for HCC, the gym with the most squats, the highest squatter and the gym with that raised the most money will receive trophies for all their hard work.

“Our top squatter is actually a frontline worker in New Jersey, she did 277 squats in 5 minutes,” said Goldman. “Chelsea Blair of Hudson River Athletics works at Hackensack Meridien Hospital in North Bergen, one of the hardest hit communities during the peak of hospitalizations.”

The gym that won the most squats over all was Crossfit Hoboken at 11,943. Total funds raised was a tie between Crossfit Hoboken and Hudson River Athletics, each having raised over $6,500.

“One of our top donors, Diana Hope, is also a front line worker at NYU Langone in the city. Diana raised over $1,000 for this event through fundraising at her hospital. FLAG helped her unit procure PPE at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Goldman. “Both Diana and Chelsea received at home meals from FLAG during the height of COVID and were inspired to help out with this fundraiser to give back to a community that has supported them during a very dark time.”

Frontline workers were well represented, as Jon Bevacqua and his coaches hosted a competition at Crossfit Hoboken—featuring a representative from both the Hoboken Police Department and Hoboken Fire Department. Coach and baker Nadine Donnelly took the cake on that one!

"The Hoboken Food Pantry is so incredibly grateful that we have such a generous and supportive community,” said HCC in a statement. “This money will help us continue our mission of fighting food insecurity here in our square mile!”

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Hoboken Community Center and follow FLAG (Front Line Appreciation Group) of HBKN and JC on social media to keep up with the latest ongoing initiatives to help those who are helping us all.

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