Cranking out an astonishing 134 pushups in 90 seconds, Chris Tarry won the Pushups for Charity challenge May 16 at the Microsoft Flagship Store in New York City.
The challenge that enlisted celebrities, athletes and civilians off the street, in partnership with Microsoft, pushed it to the limit to raise awareness for supporting our military veterans as part of National Military Appreciation month.
The winner declared, “Oh, man. Hard work!” after his feat.
Pushups for Charity featured Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Johnny “Joey” Jones, Boot Campaign chief operating officer; Jose Cruz, Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) graduate; J.W. Cortes, Marine veteran and actor on FOX TV’s “Gotham”; Steve Weatherford, Super Bowl Champion, 10-year NFL player, fitness expert and TV personality; and Chris Ryan, former Division I athlete, top fitness model and trainer on NBC’s “STRONG.” Joining them were Tarry and two other winners of preliminary rounds.
Former Navy serviceman and actor Vincent Pastore from “The Sopranos” urged on the contestants like a drill sergeant. Weatherford led the celebrity contestants with a hefty 83 pushups.
Besides raising funds, emcee Wes Anderson, vice president of U.S. Services at Microsoft, said Pushups for Charity is also about asking each of us, “What are you pushing for?”
Anderson said, “At Microsoft, we’re pushing for more great jobs in IT for our veterans. When we hire veterans, we see they bring drive, critical thinking, team-building skills and problem-solving skills that we need in the IT industry.”
Microsoft supports transitioning service members three ways:
- Through MSSA, an intensive 18-week course at multiple bases across the country that provides active duty U.S. service members with the career skills necessary to meet the IT industry’s high demand for talent
- Through participation in hiring and recruiting events across the country
- Through events like Pushups for Charity, teaming up with organizations such as Boot Campaign
Jones from Boot Campaign said he sees in service members “a willingness to go out and do the next thing in life. Almost everyone becomes a leader in the military,” yet he noted it’s not easy for them to make the transition to civilian life.
Boot Campaign is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan charity dedicated to promoting patriotism, awareness and assistance to current and former military service members and their families. Pushups for Charity 2016 aims to raise $1 million to fund more than 500 individual grants to support veterans, service members and their families.