Carpe Diem Rowathon Raises $2,500 for Food Pantries

PLYMOUTH — The weekend before Thanksgiving, when most people were shopping for groceries and planning their meals, Carpe Diem Crossfit was helping to raise money for charities.

Contributing to two of the community's meal programs was the objective as Carpe Diem Crossfit established their first ever 24 hour Row-A-Thon from Saturday, November 23 through Sunday, November 24.

"We had just gotten through a 30 day paleo challenge of clean eating," explains Cindy Bennett, owner of Carpe Diem Crossfit (CDCF), located on Yeaton Road in Plymouth. "and we wanted to commemorate that. But I decided to take it to another level and help out the community. Raising money and donating to a food charity only seemed like a natural fit to promote healthy eating."

The 24 hour Row-a-thon concept is pretty simple: teams of 1 or more sign up to keep 3 of the rowing machines at CDCF going for a solid 24 hours. People signed up for 1 or more hours and got people to sponsor them.

"The goal I had in my mind was $2,000," Bennett expressed. "That would be $1000 for each of two charities, and I felt good about that. But people were extremely generous and we surpassed our goal and are proudly donating a total of nearly $2,500."

Surpassing the original goal, Bennett decided to let the donations come in through the month of December, which will allow the group to hopefully donate another $1,000 to a third charity. A check for $1,000 will be written to the Plymouth Area Community Closet, $1,000 to The Campton Summer Lunch Program, and $1,000 will be donated towards a shelter box for the Phillippines (

With a jar filled to the brim of donations and a willing crew of people, the CDCF row-a-thonners successfully kept on rowing as people came and went into the wee hours of the morning. People took shifts. Some rowed for hours. Some came in to offer support.

"Thousands and thousands of calories were burned," laughed Bennett, who kept a whiteboard of the distances and calories rowed throughout the 24 hours.

At the end of the event, everyone gathered in the afternoon for a paleo-friendly, potluck Thanksgiving feast at CDCF. Bennett, who had not slept in over 30 hours and had rowed for over three, made a toast to the crowd and patrons of Carpe Diem just before eating:

"Thanks everyone for helping to make this a great success. What started as a small idea has now become a great annual event and it feels good to give back to the community."

For more info about Carpe Diem Crossfit, visit