There’s no shortage of CrossFit gyms in the Omaha metro area.
And because they all know their way around friendly competition, a handful of local gyms started the new year competing for a good cause.
Iron Hero CrossFit, along with CrossFit Hydro, CrossFit Viral and CrossFit Elkhorn, participated in a coat drive for the Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands. The effort was tied to an official CrossFit workout honoring Kerrie Orozco, an Omaha police officer who was killed while on duty in 2015.
Gym members donated about 140 coats. Volunteers dropped them off this week at the North Omaha Boys & Girls Club at 26th and Hamilton Streets.
CrossFit regularly creates workouts meant to honor service members who have died in the line of duty. When members of Iron Hero CrossFit saw the “Kerrie” workout, they wanted to add something to honor the fallen officer.
“We wanted to do something in the spirit of giving back to the city,” said Chris Suiter, owner of the gym located near 114th Street and West Dodge Road.
A member came up with the idea of hosting a children’s coat drive. After a little research, they found the recipient — the North Omaha Boys & Girls Club. Orozco had volunteered as a baseball coach at the club.
Suiter invited the other gyms to participate, too. They completed the workout — and collected most of the coats — on Jan. 2.
The workout called for participants to wear weighted vests while completing 10 rounds of exercises, including sprints, burpees, sit-ups and push-ups.
“We do these types of workouts anyway, and when we see something that has been written not just for somebody that has served our country and paid that price, but somebody from our own neck of the woods, it’s important for us to pay our respects,” Suiter said. “The mantra we always kind of follow is that we suffer because they can’t suffer anymore.”
Officials with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands said the coats will be distributed among the organization’s 14 local clubs.
The organization is grateful for the donation, especially after a rough year, said Emma Steeve, marketing manager with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands.
“It’s really amazing that all these gyms thought of us and of Officer Orozco,” Steeve said. “This was a small thing that turned into a larger donation that we weren’t expecting. It means a lot to our organization and to all of our club members.”