Cedar Valley Marines launch "Pull-ups for a Cure" drive - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Valley Marines launch "Pull-ups for a Cure" drive

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The 2012 Relay for Life of Black Hawk County is kicking off in two weeks, and organizers are aiming to raise $196,000 in donations. A few dozen local marine recruits are doing their part in an unconventional manner.

Taylor Cross just graduated from Cedar Falls High School on Sunday. But a relaxing summer is not on his agenda -- boot camp is.

"It's a lot of work, but it's well worth it," said Cross. "My grandpa was a Marine, and I love the motivation and dedication and the commitment to service that comes with it."

Commitment to service is an important part of preparing for life as a U.S. Marine.

"The Marine Corps, as a whole, they're always trying to do better things around the world. And we want to do our part here," said U.S. Marine Corps SSGT Jeremiah Gibbs.

As one of the recruiters in the Cedar Valley, Gibbs is always looking for ways his young men and women can do their part. After meeting with the director of the Relay for Life of Black Hawk County, he came up with a unique way to give back.

Marines are known for their pull-ups -- so why not do "Pull-ups for a Cure?" One pull-up for every one dollar raised.

"I brought it up to the poolee's -- that's the young men and women that we enlist -- they were actually more excited than I thought they would be," said Gibbs.

"Took it as a challenge, and went off to raise as much as I could," Cross said.

The goal is to raise $1500, which means they'll have to do 1,500 pull-ups. With as many as forty recruits planning to take part, that equals out to about 37 pull-ups each.

"All the way down, all the way up. Or you're going to get yelled at," Cross explained.

With two weeks left, Cross has already raised $400 dollars -- and is prepared to do as many of the pull-ups himself as he can. But the mission is not about gaining strength, it's about supporting an important cause.

"I've had various people in my life affected by cancer, so this means as much to me as anybody else," he said.

If you'd like to donate to the "Pull-ups for a Cure" drive, stop by the Waterloo U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Station, 2000 East Ridgeway Avenue, Waterloo, IA 50702. You can also call (319) 233-3180.

For information about the 2012 Relay for Life of Black Hawk County, click here.

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