CrossFit gyms hold grueling workouts to benefit fallen firefight - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

CrossFit gyms hold grueling workouts to benefit fallen firefighter

PEORIA, Ariz. -

The valley laid another hero to rest on Friday: firefighter Brad Harper.

The 23-year-old Phoenix firefighter died early Sunday morning, just hours before Officer Daryl Raetz passed.

Harper was killed in a freak accident while battling a mulch fire.

He leaves behind his high school sweetheart, who he married just six months ago.

Saturday Brad Harper's extended family gave it their all and pushed themselves to the limit physically to raise money for Harper's young widow.

Two firefighter-owned gyms came together to fundraise for fallen hero Brad Harper's family. The event brought out hundreds of people to support their cause.

CrossFitters gave their all in a workout to the fallen hero who gave his all in life.

"[A] lot of us knew Brad personally, it's something that hits us personally, all of our families," said Scott Porter, with SpartanFfit CrossFit.

Firefighters and families pushed up and pulled up to raise funds for firefighter Brad Harper's family.

Each person donated money to endure the grueling challenge.

"We all kind of suffer through the workout together in his honor," said Brian Vayda, owner of Incendia CrossFit.

Harper died just one week ago, leaving behind his wife of just six months.

Now his extended firefighter family gathering to make sure Harper's family is taken care of.

"It's a reminder that we are a big family and we do support each other, but in times like this, we are going to be behind that family and support each other," said Porter.

This is no ordinary CrossFit workout, every single exercise had meaning behind it.

"It's five rounds and 23 wall balls, so those numbers are significant because he passed on 5-18-13 and he was 23 when he passed," said Porter.

Dozens of people showed up and finished the job.

"What keeps you going is knowing that you are doing it in his memory. It's only 12 minutes and ultimately he lost his life doing what he loved to do. You just have to power through it and give it everything you got," said Amanda Newton, a participant.

After one tough week, they lifted weights and spirits and pulled through together.

"You just go to that spot and keep moving and working, it's like at the fire station, you don't have a choice, you just go," said Sam Gibbs.

The organizers say the raised $5,000 for Harper's family.

There will be a second fundraiser on June 2, honoring fallen officer Daryl Raetz, at 9 a.m. at CrossFit Incendia in Peoria.

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