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Pro football players join JAR of Hope campaign

The bake sale will be held from 7-10 p.m. Dec. 17; 1-10 p.m. Dec. 18; and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 19, at AMF Strathmore Lanes, 1061 Route 34, Aberdeen Township.

JAR of Hope Foundation, which is continuing its fight against a very rare, fatal children’s disease, has received support from 16 players in the National Football League.

During a recent presentation at Ignition Athletic Performance Group in Cincinnati, 16 NFL players vowed to help JAR of Hope find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, according to a press release.

Duchenne is a muscle-wasting disease that robs children of their ability to move and then their ability to breathe.

JAR of Hope was founded by Jim and Karen Raffone of Manalapan in 2013 after their son, Jamesy, then 4, was diagnosed with Duchenne.

The foundation promotes push-up challenges to raise funds – because children with Duchenne will never do a push-up – and the NFL players did nearly 300 push-ups and pledged more than $2,000 themselves, according to the press release.

Ignition APG is a training facility popular with college and professional athletes. Among the NFL players on hand for the event were DeShawn Williams of the Cincinnati Bengals, Brandon Tate of the Buffalo Bills and Jayrone Elliott of the Green Bay Packers.

“We are honored to have participated in this event,” said Chad Swigert, general manager of Ignition APG. “Once we met Jim Raffone and heard him speak about saving these children, both our company and these athletes realized there was no way we could not be involved.”

The NFL players, Ignition APG and JAR of Hope are now discussing various programs and videos to help the foundation publicize the disease, according to the press release.

“These great athletes were genuinely touched when they heard about these kids … who won’t get a chance to become adults unless a cure is found,” Raffone said.

“As the father of two little boys myself, I couldn’t help but be moved by the mission of JAR of Hope. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about this great organization and I am looking forward to helping them get the word out about this awful disease,” Elliott said.

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