Anna Terry knows what it’s like to struggle. She knows how it feels when life comes in and blindsides you with a run of bad luck. She also knows what it feels like to have people lend a hand and look for nothing in return.
“Not much feels better than receiving such a genuine, heart-felt gift like that when you need it most,” Anna says.
Growing up in Laconia, Anna learned to appreciate acts of kindness and firmly believes in the efforts of paying it forward. Those lessons began at the age of 4, when Anna and her mother struggled and faced the prospect of separation, because her mom could not provide for her.
Thanks to organizations such as St. Vincent DePaul’s and other area nonprofits, Anna and her mother were supported—and able to stay together and get back on their feet when times were tough. Anna’s mother began to volunteer for those nonprofits in gratitude, requiring Anna to participate as well.
Whenever young Anna questioned why they were helping complete strangers, her mother expressed the importance of helping others. Her mother taught her how to live out the mission of the Children’s Auction by changing and saving lives through service.
When Anna joined the Crossfit Juggernaut gym in Laconia six or seven years ago, she also became involved as a member of its Pub Mania team, helping to fundraise for the Auction. That was the first time she volunteered to help the Auction directly, rather than dedicating her efforts to nonprofits it supports.
After her first year on the Pub Mania team, Anna became a team captain, and coincidentally, she was also promoted to operations manager for the gym, the title she holds now.
Annually, Crossfit Juggernaut donates over $1,000 in services via gift cards to the Auction and also donates heavily to local food pantries. Despite being the yearly runner’s up for the Feeding Families Award, the Crossfit Juggernaut family enjoys the competition: The way staff and members see it, the communities and families served are the real winners.
For the past five years, Crossfit Juggernaut’s main means of supporting the Auction is through hosting an annual fundraiser in the gym, creating competition among its athletes while raising dollars.
This year marks the 5th Annual Raise the Bar fitness competition, which normally raises $8-10,000 for the Children’s Auction. The competition is open to all in the New England area. In years past, people have travelled to the Laconia gym.
This year, in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the gym is hosting the competition online for non-members and in-person for current members only. Traditionally, the competition consists of roughly three workouts designed by Crossfit Juggernaut, and teams have a designated time frame in which to complete the activities.
This year’s competition will look a little different to allow for social distancing—but staff and members will still be Raising the Bar for the Auction. Learn more at https://crossfitjuggernaut.com/.
With the help of people like Anna and organizations such as Crossfit Juggernaut, the Auction raised $600,032 in 2019.
Anna says it’s important that people put aside any bias they might have as they consider whether to donate or volunteer. “Don’t assume people in need are taking advantage of the system,” she says.
“Take the risk that you are helping to save families,” she adds. “That is real. The Auction asks for you to give time. Time, to me, is a very important thing, but I also know I waste a lot of it watching TV or doing other unimportant things. The Auction is once a year, so you bet I’ll make time for it!”