APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV)
Saturday morning, members of the Appleton Fire Department were paying tribute to fallen firefighter Mitch Lundgaard by doing “Mitch Maker” exercises, while raising funds for his family. Lundgaard died in the line of duty last month.
“Mitch was a great guy,” said Jason Lee, Captain, Appleton Fire Department. “He was a super hard worker, an awesome friend, an awesome family man, just a great guy to be around at all times.”
“Very quick-witted, and fitness was definitely one of his strong suits in the fire department,” added firefighter Joe Kozikowski.
Because Lundgaard’s passion for fitness was well-known among his co-workers, they felt Crossfit Appleton was an appropriate place to hold Saturday’s event. At the fundraiser, approximately 150 community members remembered Lundgaard by doing 100 Man Maker exercises, which they affectionately called “Mitch Makers.”
“The Man Maker is very challenging, and usually ten is enough, when you do it in a circuit workout,” Lee said. “But a hundred? That’s a big deal.”
The idea came from the fact that Lundgaard had been doing the workout himself when he got the call that ultimately resulted in him losing his life.
“The crew was working out together, and it was his idea to do 100 man makers for a workout that night,” explains Kozikowski. “And they were at number 50 when the call came in where Mitch was killed.”
For three hours, attendees performed the compound movement, which involves push-ups, rowing, squatting, and overhead pressing. Donations were collected, which will go to Lundgaard’s wife and three children.
“This is what the Crossfit community does,” said Sam Davis, owner of Crossfit Appleton. “We like to be able to give back to people. No other better way than to have a hero WOD (Workout of the Day) in Mitch’s honor, and raise a bunch of money and help his family out.”
“As firefighters, it’s our job to be compassionate and to show up for people on their worst day,” said Kozikowski. “It’s been really uplifting that the community as a whole has shown up for us on our worst day.”
If you missed the Mitch Maker event, but would like to donate to the Lundgaard family, you can do so here.