Jen Thompson announced on her Instagram yesterday that she has teamed up with several major names in the powerlifting world for the charity fundraiser Stronger Together. The goal is to raise money for No Kid Hungry, a national campaign launched in 2010 by the nonprofit Share Our Strength, that aims to end childhood hunger throughout the United States.
Stronger Together was put in motion in response to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down schools, which was where many children in the United States were being fed:
“Because of the nation wide school closures, many of our children are not getting the meals they rely on.”
Ray Williams, Meg Gallagher, Bart Kwan, Ed Coan, and Marisa Inda will join Thompson by each offering a unique prize or “once in a lifetime” experiences to be awarded to anyone who donates to Stronger Together via raffle. Each donation will function as a raffle ticket to win one of the experiences being offered, and there is no cap to the number of times someone can donate.
Jen Thompson is notorious for having an incredible bench press. In 2019, she won her 11th International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) Classic Bench Press Championship title and holds IPF all-time bench press world records in the -63kg and -72kg weight classes — 142.5kg/314lb and 144kg/317lb, respectively.
For Stronger Together, Thompson is offering a training session at either the winners’ gym or her personal gym as well as a dinner and one night stay (if winner chooses to train at Thompson’s gym).
The 2017 IPF World Classic Powerlifting champion and 5-time USA Powerlifting (USAPL) champion Marisa Inda is offering a training session at Barbell Brigade as well as a lunch together afterwards.
Regarded as one of the greatest powerlifters ever, Ed Coan is a 6-time IPF World Powerlifting champion and 7-time United States Powerlifting Federation (USPF) Senior Nationals champion.
For Stronger Together, Coan is offering a powerlifting seminar at the winners’ gym or training facility.
Bart Kwan is the 2017 United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) American Open champion in the -83kg class and owner of Barbell Brigade in Los Angeles, California. Kwan will fly the winner out to Barbell Brigade for a training session, lunch, and $100 gift card to Barbell Brigade.
Ray Williams currently holds the IPF world record squat, deadlift, and total — 477.5kg/1,053lb, 398.5kg/878.5lb, and 1,105kg/2,436lb, respectively — in the 120+kg weight class. Of the twenty-three competitive events Williams has appeared in during his 7-year career, he has won all but two of them. At the 2019 USAPL Arnold SBD Pro American, Willams squatted a jaw-dropping 490kg/1,080lb.
A donation to Stronger Together via Ray Williams could win you a signed pair of Gorilla Wear squat shoes.
Megan Gallagher, possibly better known as “Meg Squats” is a powerlifter and a fitness and nutrition coach, as well as the founder of Strong Strong Friends — a gym in Fort Worth, Texas. Donating to Stronger Together via Gallagher could score the lucky winner and a friend a trip to Strong Strong Friends to train and then lift with her at one of her events.
At the time of this article, Stronger Together has hit their goal of $10,000, but donations can still be made. On the campaign’s page, select which athlete’s experience you would like your donation to be submitted for by clicking their name in the bottom right corner. A winner will be selected for each athlete’s offer.
Stronger Together will be accepting donations until 11:59 pm EST on May 17th.
Feature image via Jen Thompson’s Instagram page: @jenthompson132