McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 4, 2014

Lift-A-Thon memorial benefit set for Saturday

By MJ Brickey
Staff Writer

McALESTER — On Saturday, the fourth annual LiftStrong33 Lift-A-Thon and Fitness Challenge is set to kick of at 9 a.m., is expected to last until noon and will be held in the weight room at Hook Eales Stadium.

The Lift-A-Thon is to benefit the Eric Allford Memorial Fund.

Fassio said there will be fun for all ages — a 70-foot inflatable, games and music.

Friends and family memorialize Allford yearly by raising funds for scholarships and to benefit local sports. At 23 years old, Wilson “Eric” Allford was killed in a car accident in March 2005 in Edmond, event organizer Lindsey Fassio said.

She said the Lift-A-Thon is a bench-press and weightlifting competition, with a timed fitness obstacle course.

Fassio said Allford was an avid weightlifter and an athlete in high school.

The Lift-A-Thon benefits the Eric Allford Memorial Scholarship given to two McAlester High School seniors every year, she said. However, she said if money raised exceeds the amount of the total scholarships, it will go back into the fund and will be used to benefit local sports.

“The scholarships have been given to nine recipients and all are still in

college,” Fassio said. “Last year we gave two $1,500 scholarships and we are hoping to increase the amount.”

Fassio said there’s preference given to students participating in athletics and she said students should speak to McAlester High School administrators about the application process.

Although preference is given to students in athletics, she said all students planning for college are encouraged to apply for the scholarships.

Fassio said participants are required to sign a waiver and should prepare for the event just as they would any other fitness competition. That includes making sure they’re in good health before signing up.

She said organizers are still looking for donors and volunteers. For more information, call 918-424-4545.

Donations may be made to the Eric Allford Memorial Fund at P.O. Box 632, McAlester, OK, 74502.