On Sept. 16, area residents gathered at iPlay America in Freehold Township to attempt to set a new world record for the number of people doing push-ups at one time.
The event was held by Manalapan-based JAR of Hope Foundation, which raises money to research a rare and always fatal children’s disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, according to a press release.
The event did not surpass the current world record of 1,645 people doing push-ups at the same time.
However, it did succeed in spreading awareness about Duchenne, a rare muscle-wasting disease that strikes only children, and mostly boys, according to the press release.
JAR of Hope was founded four years ago by Jim and Karen Raffone of Manalapan after their then-4-year-old son, James Anthony (Jamesy), was diagnosed with Duchenne. There is no cure for the disease.
Why push-ups? Simple, according to Jim Raffone.
“We have push-up events,” Raffone said, “to help people understand the insidious nature of this disease, because the children who have it will never be able to do a simple push-up.”
He urged those in attendance to tell at least one person every day about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and hundreds of local residents left with a better understanding of the disease, according to the press release.
“JAR of Hope is our mission in life,” Raffone said. “These children can’t fight for themselves, so someone has to step up and do it for them and it is a role we will gladly take. We just cannot bear the thought of these children dying before they get a chance to become adults.”