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June 17, 2011 > Charity Lift-A-Thon a success

Charity Lift-A-Thon a success

By Gary van den Heuvel
Photos By Mike Heightchew

Unseasonably wet and cold weather threatened to mar last weekend's Lift-a-Thon, a weightlifting charity event held at Irvington Park for Brian Stowe, but organizer Darrell Lutz called the event a success. "I would have been happy with two people, let alone 22, which was our total number." Lutz estimated that the Lift-a-Thon raised about $1,500.

Stowe has recently gained notoriety in a tragic way - he is the San Francisco Giants fan who was attacked and badly injured on Major League Baseball's opening day at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. While the LAPD has arrested at least one of the alleged assailants, Stowe has had a slow recovery, spending most of the last two months in a coma.

"I know Brian has progressed - the last I've heard is that he has started to track movement with his eyes," said Lutz.

Lutz doesn't even know Brian Stowe personally, but he got involved through his friend Jennifer Bendix, who does know Brian.

"I saw that Jennifer had posted some status updates on Facebook about Brian and how she knew him personally, so I decided to put something together and the Lift-a-Thon is what came up."

Lutz is a personal trainer and owns a business in Fremont, M.A.S.S. Training. He is also a former head football coach. Some of his players participated in the event, which Lutz said "wasn't a real competition but a lot of the guys who were lifting knew each other so there may have been a little friendly rivalry."

Lutz hopes to hold another event in July, but an exact date has not yet been announced. He plans to have it at his gym, which is located at 5127 Mowry Ave., inside Top Flight Gymnastics. Anyone interested in attending can contact Lutz at, or visit his website at

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