What is this Relentless Thing?

What is this Relentless Thing?

Dec 13, 2014

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^^Created by John Lenz – the silhouette is from a heartfelt photo of Relentless poster-lifter Marshall Johnson and Carter Olson.

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^^Poster-Lifter Marshall Johnson and Carter Olson

In 2014, the Relentless Minnesota and Relentless Detroit combined meets raised over $420,000 for children with life-threatening illnesses through not-for-profit organizations such as Hope Kids.  Not bad for a grass-roots fundraiser that has not used any of the standard fundraising channels.

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In 2010 Mike Hamilton, the pastor of Valley View Christian Church in Rosemount, Minnesota, contacted Scott Nutter about having a fundraising meet for a member of the congregation, Garth Heckman who had been diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer.  The purpose of the benefit was to help with doctor bills and other costs associated with his treatment.  They expected only to raise a small amount in a small venue which quickly grew as other powerlifters leapt to the cause.  The Relentless theme and font actually came from Garth’s arm tattoo.

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^^During a strongman get-together.  Marshall demonstrates lifting an SUV for the kids

Originally intended to raise a few thousand to support Garth in March of 2011, the event raised $11,000 and, when it was over, the lifters approached Scott Nutter and Mike Hamilton asking what was next.  The rest is history!

In 2012, Team Hope through Hope Kids and Hope Kids executive director Josh Taylor, selected the organization as the beneficiary of funds raised.  The first event held, again, with funds raised through the lifters direct to Hope Kids, raised $15,000.

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^^Pop Star and powerlifter Candace Paupolo of the Walls of Jericho is a fundraiser and dedicated a song ‘Relentless’ to the effort

In July of 2012, Tommy Westhoff contacted Scott Nutter about putting together a fundraiser for a young man by the name of Austin Valentine to help him and his family.  They decided to call the event Relentless Detroit and they held it at the Kirby Church outside of Detroit.  This event, which is held in November each year, raised $33,000 with Austin as beneficiary in 2012.

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^^It’s not just about lifting – it’s about the kids!

The concept continued to take off with more and more lifters wishing to participate.  Relentless Minnesota 2013 hit $105,000 for Hope Kids the following March with $12-15,000 raised on the day of the meet!  Relentless Detroit 2013 hit $133,000 and benefited six families through You Caring.

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^^ Relentless Athletes Barzeen and Kristin Vaziri, school teachers by day, massive lifters by… well, all the time… got AMS Illinois school children rocking the house and raising funds!

I covered Relentless Detroit 2013 in my article: http://ironauthority.com/relentless-detroit-wow/  And it was WOW!  From that point I did whatever I could to support the event.

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^^It’s about family

Lifters from the USA and Canada participate in each event.

Relentless Minnesota 2014 hit $205,000 and Relentless Detroit hit $214,000.  The churches and coordinators cover the costs with all of the raised funds going directly to the charities and families.

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^^It’s exciting!  The lifters don’t just lift – they entertain and interact!

What is more incredible is that Relentless ceases to be a pair of meets and is actually a way of life for many lifters who become involved 24/7/365!  Additional events, kick-offs and constant social media and direct communications between lifters and amongst those being served.  As Scott Nutter put it when I interviewed him for this post – it is not about lifting, it is not about competing, it is not even about fundraising, it is about family.  The lifters, the children and their families all become involved as one big family.  There is a strong bond and connection that you cannot conceive until you are actually there!

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^^The audience

The mission of Relentless is “To build relationships, change lives and serve God by uniting strong men and women with even stronger children.”

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^^It’s not about how much you lift – but how much you uplift!

For 2015 I have been asked to participate in Relentless.  Please participate in my fundraising effort for this event!  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/HowardPenrose and the other lifters!

I intend to bring you along on this event doing my best to describe the indescribable.

[Note: Pictures in this blog post are via Relentless social media]

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