Bench press competition for charity

It's not unusual for police officers and other first responders to work-out in their spare time.

But, two Sylacauga policemen are taking that work-out time, and making it an opportunity to give back.

Officer Mike Davenport and Sgt. Matt Emlich from the Sylacauga police department came up with the idea.

Davenport has been a life-long fan of strength and bodybuilding competitions -- he's even competed in local lifting events.

"This sport is unlike any other sport you'll ever see. Because your competition wants you to do it. If you have 500 lbs on the bar, there's nobody there hoping, 'I hope he doesn't get it.' Everybody wants to see you succeed," says Davenport.Davenport and Emlich are taking a bench press competition and turning into a charitable contest. The Greater Talladega County First Responders Bench Press Competition."A lot of officers on the shift work out, and somebody says, hey we ought to have a bench press, then Emlich said, 'why don't we make it for somebody that can benefit from it," Davenport explains.The Sylacauga Care House was chosen as the beneficiary.

The Care House helps low income families, in need of food, clothing and other assistance. "They're always helping out the community, so I think it was just time for us to try and help them out," says EmlichEarl Lewis, is the executive director of Care House. Lewis says the organization helps more than 100 families a week, operating on a small budget.

He says, any little bit raised by the competition will help.

"We have a lot of needy people here, more than I would of imagined we would have in a town this size," says Lewis. "It doesn't matter to me if they raise five dollars or five thousand dollars, it's going to be a great help to us. I support them in every way, and am thankful for those guys that are doing this."Along with providing some additional funding for the care house, Davenport hopes, it will encourage more police and firemen to work out. "It keeps people interested in fitness, if you're working out, this gives you a goal," he says. "It will keep you motivated, and that's the biggest thing in fitness is staying motivated."

The event is April 20 at J. Craig Smith Community Center in Sylacauga.

There will be two divisions, one open to the public and the other for police and firemen. The fee to compete is a $20 donation prior to the event or $30 the day of the competition.

Women and men can compete. Lifting will begin at 5:00 p.m. and each person will get three attempts.

For more information, contact Mike Davenport at 256-454-1821.