Giving back seems to be at the foundational core of CrossFit Amoskeag in Bedford, New Hampshire. With numerous charity events held nearly every month and a mindset of always saying yes when asked for help, CrossFit Amoskeag has raised and donated money for years.
Currently, the owners are planning the Holiday Handicap competition, which stemmed from an idea of a member. This member has a handicapped son who was impacted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Little did Jeff Licciardi, co-owner of CrossFit Amoskeag, know, but multiple members of his Box had known others impacted by this organization. This stemmed the plans for the Holiday Handicap competition, an event nearly anyone off the street is encouraged to compete in.
“It’s called the Holiday Handicap, not because Make-A-Wish has anything to do with being handicapped, but because we handicap the event the same way you would handicap a round of golf,” said Licciardi. “We learn participants power clean, one rep max, and their 500-meter row. Then, we scale people out so when they complete their workouts the morning of the event they are measured the same way our Regional athletes are.”
Licciardi is one of four owners of CrossFit Amoskeag. All four men have jobs outside of owning the Box, which helps them be able to offer memberships at discounted rates, gift cards and donations to local and national organizations.
“When we all came from other CrossFit Boxes we agreed community is what makes it so fun, important and beneficial,” said Licciardi. “We said look, we don’t really need to open a gym to make money, so if we were going to do something with the money what would we do? To date, we haven’t paid ourselves over $50 in the last two years; we give everything else to charity. We just felt like it was something we could do, and it feels right and feels good.”
Hosting charity events and fundraisers are good ways to get community members into your Box in a unique way. People that normally are intimidated by a CrossFit gym may see a fundraiser as a easier avenue to try out CrossFit.
“Hosting an event like the Holiday Handicap, because we add this handicap piece to it and the workouts we design are simplistic in nature, we can have anyone come off the street that is in some sort of reasonable shape and they will be able to do something that day,” said Licciardi. “This is when they get to experience that community that is such a big selling point for CrossFit.”