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Weight-Lifters Raise Spirits and Money

They came, they lifted, they raised money for breast cancer awareness.

It was the first-ever "Battle of the Belles" at the Punch Kettlebell Gym in Norwalk, and the winner was... the Carl & Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center at Stamford Hospital .

The all-female participants in the weighty competition pushed, lifted and grunted through five "Strong Man"-esque events, featuring tire flips, deadlifts, axle cleans and presses, sandbag carries and atlas stones. Segmented by weight, each contestant completed in all events in their appropriate divisions.

Proceeds (from the competitors' $60 entry fees, along with the sale of T-shirts and cupcakes) were donated to the Cancer Center.

Punch Kettleball Gym opened in 2009. Owner Stephanie Tropea said: "Strongman training empowers women to challenge their bodies and personal fitness goals." Adding, "It's a fitting metaphor for the battle many women face when they're diagnosed with breast cancer or other terminal diseases."

For more information about Punch Kettlebell Gym, go to their website .

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