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Go To the Gym, Help Children in Need

Grab your gym shoes and get ready to work out for a good cause. Al's Angels, a nonprofit organization in Westport that helps children and families suffering with cancer, rare blood diseases, AIDS or domestic violence, is hosting its largest fundraising effort of the year on Oct. 2 and 3. Founder Al DiGuido is calling on the community for support.

The "24 Hours of Hope" event will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Edge Fitness Club in Norwalk. It's the first fundraiser of this kind for Al's Angels. The idea is simple: Participants get family and friends to sponsor their workout.

"People sign up to work out for a certain number of hours, and they get people to sponsor each hour of their workout," DiGuido said. "They can come in, ride the bike, walk on the treadmill, or work out on the elliptical."

With a lot of work set for the winter holidays, DiGuido said he set a fundraiser goal of $100,000.

"We don't provide money. We provide food and toys for thousands of families in the tri-state area," DiGuido said. "Between November and December is our busiest time of the year, but we provide help all year long."

All the money raised will go to buy food and new toys this holiday season.

To reach that $100,000 fundraising goal, DiGuido said he needs help.

"Every year for Christmas, we wrap lights around the [William F. Cribari] bridge. We do this as a way to raise awareness and signal hope to the children," DiGuido said. "If a small percentage of the people that enjoy the lights can help us, it would be a phenomenal help to us."

To register, donate or learn more about 24 Hours of Hope, visit the fundraiser online .

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