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The Belles Raise The Bar!

Our 8th Annual Battle of the Belles brings out the best, and benefits Stamford’s Bennett Cancer Center

What better way to honor Breast Cancer Awareness month than by demonstrating the strength of women, mentally, emotionally, and physically? Our North American Strongman, Inc.-sanctioned event at Cranbury Park in Norwalk attracted 60+ competitors from around the tri-state area, and more than 300 spectators of all ages (some with four legs) came out to cheer them on.
 
Of course, the Punch Kettlebell Gym Belles did themselves (and us all) proud: Lillian Tropea, Lorraine LoRusso, Isabella Rincon, Kerry Gilbertson, Mabel Prada, Meredith Coogan, Carly Litweiler, and Elisa Carvahlo all made strong showings, exceeding many personal records.  And we even had some place in the various events among impressive competitors, including Carly placing 3rd in the Middle Weight Open Division and Elisa placing 2nd in the Middle Weight Open Division.
 
Our Belles didn’t just show up — their training leading up to the event was a 12-week commitment, including learning new moves and new lifts, improving their cardio, and managing their time and nutrition to ensure their best respective performances. They trained, they focused, and they brought their best to the competition.

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And let’s not forget the sponsors and volunteers who make this happen — truly a team effort!  It begins months in advance, from soliciting sponsors and donors, gaining permits and insurance, coordinating with authorities to ensure a safe day, setting up and breaking down the event, helping our competitors and supporters every step of the way, and of course providing the dollars to make the event happen as well as ensure it all ultimately helps the Bennett Cancer Center with all they do, and those they serve.

A special shout out goes to the members of the event staff:  Jessica Edwards, Todd Giorgi, Kevin Cronin, Matt Mills, Justin Czaplicki, Justin Fisher, Cait Dunn, April Fraleigh, Abby Fraleigh, Owen Fraleigh, Joe Tropea, Elise Brzoska, Cheryl Gall, Laura Moughty, Sade Bernadel, Kathleen Whelen, Brendan Wahl, Jon Ranola, and Aaron Gerard, and to our sponsors, Rye Ridge Deli, BJ Ryan's, Untangled, Grooming by Gabe, Fashion Nails & Spa, Lewis School of Driving, Salon Etre, NY Strong, Island Park Auto Body, and Luciano Paving.  And also to Marie DeMasi, Linden Yard Fabrications, MBelleish Jewelry, and Gaetano's Deli for donating items for the raffle.  Be sure to support their businesses as they support our community. 
 
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, we scheduled the event October 1st, and the weather couldn’t have been nicer — a far cry from events from other years where contestants and supporters needed jackets and hats to keep warm. 
 
But it was the fight in every competitor that warms our hearts. To see everyone give their all, family and friends experience the competition (often seeing such a competition for the first time), and knowing communal effort makes a difference for a wonderful cause, wraps the battle into a blessing.  This annual event is at the heart of all we do at Punch Gym — building strength — and so we look forward to many more years of competitions that do good.