How CrossFit Affiliates are Fundraising for Bushfires

Participants in the Barbells for Bushfires fundraiser.

Since fall of 2019, Australia has been burning. And CrossFitters are getting involved through fundraising.

CrossFit Active, located in Australia, held its Bush Fire Fundraiser on January 27. The event was a workout performed by teams of five:

For Time
1,500 calories on the rower
Every 10 minutes, everyone performs 25 burpees
*At the time of writing the workout, 1,500 homes had been destroyed and 25 lives lost.

The event brought in 26 teams of five who participated at the cost of $100 per team. All in all, the gym raised $3,000 that went to the Salvation Army and WIRES.

“Our goal was to just try and do something for those affected,” said Patrick Fitzsimons, the director of the Box. “As both the wildlife and communities have been affected so drastically, we decided we would contribute to both. We had heard some great things that WIRES was doing, so that was a no brainer. We were actually a little unsure on who to give the other half to; we decided the Salvation Army after a little research. In hindsight, we would have loved to drive down to where the fires were and hand the money to those directly affected.”

On the other side of the world in Blacksburg, Virginia, CrossFit 460 is also taking action in fundraising for the cause. Owner Velvet Minnick said she was asked by one of her Australian members to post about nonprofits seeking financial assistance for the bushfires. But Minnick took it a step further.

“Our Barbells for Bushfires event was a community fundraiser to help raise money and awareness to those impacted by the Australian bushfires,” shared Minnick. “We decided to do this fundraiser because our member, Naomi, had family that was directly impacted by the bushfires. She just wanted to bring awareness around it, and I wanted to do more for her. I knew that it was a small thing to do to help her family that was evacuated.”

Velvet Minnick and gym member, Naomi.

The workout for the event held on January 25 was as follows:

5 Rounds
40 seconds of work; 20 seconds of rest
Thrusters (95/65 lbs)
Hang Power Cleans
Lateral Burpees over the Bar
Push Press

About 60 people participated in the event. A large part of the Barbells for Bushfires’ proceeds also came from selling branded T-shirts. Minnick said the $1,021.41 that was raised went to three different organizations: Wildlife Rescue South CoastNSW Rural Fire Service and WIRES.

The T-shirt sold for the Barbells for Bushfires event.

Looking to host your own fundraiser, either for the bushfires or another cause? Both Minnick and Fitzsimons shared their fundraising tips below:

  1. Spread the word. Have members invite friends, family and colleagues to the event.
  2. Make sure your Coaches are bought in as they need to not only be promoting 24/7, but are hopefully involved at the event itself.
  3. Selling a product like a shirt isn’t necessary, but it can be a way for those who don’t want to do the workout to contribute.
  4. Make the workout free and able to be participated in by anyone, new to CrossFit or not.
  5. Create a fun and enjoyable event.
  6. Tap into your community for resources. Minnick had members help design and print the shirts.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at