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Fitness Center hosts Alzheimer’s benefit challenge

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Vandenberg Fitness Center will host the Sweat for the Cure Push-Up Challenge from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 24.

The proceeds from the $5 entry fee will go to the Alzheimer's and Aging Research Center in hopes of one day finding a cure for Alzheimer's. Event organizers have a goal of one hundred participants which would mean a contribution of $500 to the Alzheimer's and Aging Research Center.

Staff Sgt. James Hodgman, a 30th Security Forces Squadron desk sergeant, put together the event. He said he is hopeful the Vandenberg community will show its support like never before.

"Alzheimer's is a disease that has ravaged the minds of more then four million Americans and its time we find a cure," Sergeant Hodgman said. "The Vandenberg community has shown in the past that it can step up and help people in need and that's exactly what I'm asking them to do here.

"Everyone dies that's just a fact of life; however, when you don't know the names of your loved ones who are trying to help you through that stage in life, or you don't remember things like you used to, that is awfully sad and that's why I've dedicated myself to putting this event together," he added.

The Push-Up Challenge is not only an opportunity to support a charity; it's also a chance to test one's physical fitness level. Thanks to the Push-Up Challenge format, Airmen will be tested on muscular endurance and not just how many push-ups they can do.

"If you think about the PT test, you have to do a certain amount of push ups in one minute to achieve a good or excellent score," Sergeant Hodgman said. "Why not push yourself to the next level? Instead of maxing out for one minute how many can you do in three separate minutes? How many can you do after your muscles begin to tire?"

The challenge will consist of three one-minute rounds with three minute breaks between each round. Prizes will be awarded to the top performers. Teams from the National Football League and Major League Baseball, as well as local businesses, theme parks and other organizations have contributed prizes for the event.

While the goal is to raise $500 through 100 participants, Sergeant Hodgman said that's not where he's set the limit.

"The more participants we have means more money will be raised for Alzheimer's research," he said. "And more money for Alzheimer's research means the closer we are to finding a cure."

For those people who don't want to compete in the challenge but would still like to make a cash donation, there will be a donation box available. For more information or to sign-up, contact Sergeant Hodgman at james.hodgman@vandenberg.af.mil.