Students from Maplewood Karate, Maplewood/South Orange’s premier martial arts studio, competed Saturday, July 14 in New Jersey’s first Warrior Dash. The Warrior Dash is a 5k race through rugged terrain, with military type obstacles throughout. Competitors must run through woods and up hills, through mud and creeks. They must also scale walls, crawl under barbed wire, swim to and over an obstacle and jump through fire. It is not for the feint of heart.
As part of the competition, some of the students (Joe Buckner, Claire Sinclair, Tami Thetford and Peggy Excell-Stone) also took part in a fundraising campaign for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. They encouraged friends, family and colleagues to make a donation to the world-renown hospital, which treats seriously ill children without regard to their ability to pay.
The fundraising became a competition of its own, as the team – ‘MW/SO Warrior Brigade’ – began climbing to the top of the fundraising ladder. It was neck and neck all the way to race day, at which point they reached the top. As a team, the ‘MW/SO Warrior Brigade’ raised $4,675 and became the top fundraising team in the state. Mr. Buckner and Ms. Sinclair also were among the top individual fundraisers in the state, 2nd and 4th, respectively.
“I can't tell you how amazing it is to have this kind of support from the community.”, commented Buckner, the fundraising team leader. “An incredible team effort by my fellow Warriors and all of our friends, colleagues, family, and community. This weekend will go down as one of the absolute best ever!”
The team of students have been training together in kickboxing and karate at Maplewood Karate for some time. “What a blast! I was nervous going into this race because of some of the obstacles, but my martial arts training absolutely prepared me. My teammates are among the best people ever, and we raised a lot of money to help some kids who really need it. ” said Excell-Stone, a black belt at Maplewood Karate.
Maplewood Karate is located at 97 Baker Street in Maplewood Village. If you’d like to make a donation to St. Jude’s, you may do so at MW/SO Warrior Brigade St. Jude's fundraising here.