Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tough Hero competition raises money for U.S. veterans

Jordan Bieber, 20, competes Saturday in the weightlifting portion of the Tough Hero competition at Anytime Fitness in Zephyrhills. The event raised money for Active Heroes, organized to ease financial pressures on military families and veterans.

DAVID RICE | Special to the Times

Jordan Bieber, 20, competes Saturday in the weightlifting portion of the Tough Hero competition at Anytime Fitness in Zephyrhills. The event raised money for Active Heroes, organized to ease financial pressures on military families and veterans.

ZEPHYRHILLS — Anytime Fitness celebrated Veterans Day on Saturday with a local installment of the company's national campaign of Tough Hero competitions.

The popular gym on U.S. 301 welcomed members and non-members alike to compete in a weightlifting and fitness challenge that is also one of the country's largest fundraisers for military families. It is part of Active Heroes, a foundation dedicated to providing financial assistance to military families and veterans.

"Several Anytime Fitness stores around the country are doing events like these and since I have a lot of friends who are veterans, I figured why not do something for a cause that helps their families," Anytime Fitness owner Jonathan Carle said. "We opened it up to the public, but most people who have gotten into it are members of Anytime (Fitness), whether it's here or Dade City. We have medals for people who finish first, second and third, but it's just a fun time."

The Tough Hero competition, which drew a dozen competitors at the Zephyrhills location, featured four tests of strength: push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and the bench press. The competitors paid a flat fee to compete in the event, which altogether raised about $700.

Steve Carle, Jonathon's 67-year old father, is a Vietnam veteran who watched the competition unfold. He was happy to see people out in support of military families.

"This is something I'm proud to see my son doing and a great way to celebrate Veterans Day," Carle said. "It's really neat to see these guys come out and see what they can do. There is a guy here who served in Afghanistan and he has a video about what he did while he was over there that people can watch. I think an event like this really honors the vets."

For veteran and Sarasota firefighter Jay Wayt, 29, competing in the event was a great way to work out with friends as well as support families that are going through the same thing his family once dealt with.

"It wasn't that long ago that I was in Afghanistan, so of course I can appreciate what this is for," Wayt said. "This is a nice chance to hang out, work out for a cause and joke with all the guys here at the gym. It means a lot just to have a group of guys like this that you get to know so well and to see them doing something for military families. I'm happy to be here today."

Tough Hero competition raises money for U.S. veterans 11/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: 'Hamilton' cast sings 'Happy Birthday' to celebrate 'Stars Wars' 40th Anniversary


    The cast of Hamilton sang a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for Star Wars' 40th Anniversary.
  2. Tarpon Springs man killed after three cars hit him on U.S. 19 in Holiday


    A Tarpon Springs man was killed Wednesday night in Holiday after he was struck by three cars as he attempted to cross U.S. 19, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Siesta Beach tops Dr. Beach's rankings of best locations in America


    Three beaches in Florida made it on a highly coveted list of the top 10 in America this year, ranked by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. "Dr. Beach."

    This May 18, 2017 photo shows Siesta Beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota, Fla. Siesta Beach is No. 1 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2017 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. [Chris O'Meara | Associated Press]
  4. Tattooed 'Joker' accused of pointing gun at Miami traffic

    Bizarre News

    MIAMI — Police in Miami-Dade County have managed to arrest the Joker without Batman's help following reports of a green-haired man with tattoos on his face pointing a gun at traffic.

    This photo provided by the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department shows Lawrence Sullivan, who was arrested in Miami-Dade County, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, and charged with carrying a concealed firearm. Police say the self-described "tattoo model" was pointing a gun at moving vehicles. [Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department via AP]
  5. Deputies: Two men, teen intentionally set fire, left it to burn within Weedon Island Preserve


    ST. PETERSBURG –– Two men and a teen face charges after deputies say they deliberately started a fire within Weedon Island Preserve last month.

    Adam Grote, 19, left, and Brandon Kholos, 20, along with a 17-year-old, face charges after deputies say they intentionally started a fire on April 15, 2017, that burned about six acres on Googe Island within Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]