The Manchester Township Police Department is proud to announce that the First Responders Fitness Challenge, held on Wednesday, June 5, successfully raised money for charity while offering an intensive physical competition for fire, military, and law enforcement personnel.

This team-based competition, held at Harry Wright Lake in Whiting, raised nearly $3,600, which will benefit the Ava’s Voice charity and the not for profit Manchester Township Police Foundation Fund, Inc. The officers were proud to work together and compete in grueling physical exercises, all for worthy causes.

“The First Responders Fitness Challenge is one of the most intense physical competitions that only highly-trained athletes can successfully complete,” said Chief Lisa Parker. “First responders must commit to maintaining a high physical standard for their entire career, as the nature of their job demands it. Everyone who participated should be proud of their accomplishment and sincere dedication to fitness.”

Stafford Township Police Department earned the title of Fittest Police Department, beating out sixteen other four-person teams for the honor. In second place was West Windsor Police Department (Grey), followed by Ocean City Police Department, NJ in third.

The exercises included a team vehicle push, barrier climbs, deadlifts, ground-overhead, yoke carry, farmers carry, kettlebell swings/burpees, individual tire flip, individual pole flip, sandbag walking lunges, sandbag carry, firehose drag, rope climbs, bear crawls, 200 yard swim, all over a five mile trail run.

Ava, the namesake of the Ava’s Voice charity, is a brave young township resident who is affected by Usher Syndrome. She was born profoundly deaf and is slowly going blind. More than 400,000 people are affected by this genetic disorder worldwide, with approximately 50,000 of those in the United States. Usher Syndrome presently has no cure, and impacts vision, hearing and balance.

Organizers Ptl. Conner Yatauro and members of the Manchester Township Police Department are appreciative of everyone who participated and are looking forward to continuing this event and supporting worthy charities. A special thank you goes out to the Ocean County Regional SWAT members who volunteered their time to help run the competition, as well as ShopRite of Manchester, Dunkin Donuts of Whiting, Crossfit Toms River, Coronatos Clean Cuisine, WeeDesign, LLC, and Jersey Shore Supplements for their support of the Fitness Challenge.