JAR of Hope founder: Event raised awareness of disease

MANALAPAN — Professional athletes, businesses, media, dignitaries, fire/police personnel and an entire community united with JAR of Hope on Aug. 23 for “Strength in Numbers” at the Manalapan Recreation Center, raising thousands of dollars and awareness in the mission to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, according to a press release.

“I am incredibly proud of what occurred here today,” James Raffone, the founder of JAR of Hope, said of the event. “To see Manalapan and this entire region, along with athletes who traveled from locations all over the country, support Team Jamesy and JAR of Hope is so humbling. I could not be any more proud of how this event turned out. It was a truly remarkable day.”

An official attempt by JAR of Hope to break the world record for most people performing push-ups at one time was a key highlight of the event.

Michael Empric, an adjudicator with Guinness World Records, was present to monitor the attempt which entailed being in a push-up motion for one minute. More than 620 people joined the effort to break the standing record of 615 people, but enough participants were disqualified to the point where the final number of people who completed the challenge was 612, according to the press release.

Despite being just several people short of establishing a new Guinness world record, the real mission of the day was accomplished. Money was raised for JAR of Hope and many new people were educated about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which in turn brings research one step closer to finding a cure for the muscle wasting disease, according to the press release.

JAR of Hope was started by Raffone in 2013 after his son, Jamesy, received a diagnosis of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The organization was created to find a cure for the disease that has about 300,000 worldwide cases. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy aggressively attacks the human muscular system and JAR of Hope has a mission to provide funding for medical needs and outside the-box treatment methods.

The two title sponsors for “Strength in Numbers” were FrogBridge Day Camp in Millstone Township and Pazzo Restaurant in Red Bank.

Other businesses involved with the event included Sinful Tans in Marlboro, Utopia Salon in Freehold, Nicole Genna Cosmetology in Monroe Township, Farmers Insurance agent Russ Armine, Bobby’s Burger Palace in Freehold, Dri-Towel, It Works Body Wraps, Financial Integrity of Staten Island, N.Y., IDLife agent Carrie Danks, Jersey Joe Apparel, Good Energy Training in Allendale, and iPlay America in Freehold. For more information, visit http://jarofhope.org.