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Bryan Seibel is getting all the sleep he can these days.

The owner of Anytime Fitness in Beatrice knows he’ll need the rest soon enough.

That’s because Seibel is preparing for a 24-hour marathon workout session to help raise money for the Beatrice Backpack Program.

This will be the third year he’s committed to doing the 24-hour workout to raise money for the Backpack Program. He’s raised around $1,000 each year in doing so. He hopes to surpass the $1,000 mark this year. His 24-hour workout will begin Friday at 8 a.m. at Anytime Fitness.

Money is raised through pledges, which can be made in flat amounts, pledges per hour Seibel works out or pledges from other fitness partners who sign up to exercise for a block of time during the 24-hour period.

The Beatrice Backpack Program, now in its 8th year, sends home 100 backpacks with food to help supplement meals for qualifying students and their families. The program coincides with the district’s free and reduced meals program. To qualify for assistance through the Beatrice Backpack Program, the student must already receive free or reduced-price meals.

The Beatrice Backpack Program is modeled after a similar program in Lincoln. The Beatrice program partners with the Food Bank of Lincoln to purchase the food used to fill the weekly backpacks. Last year the program served 64 students. This school year it is serving 100.

Seibel’s reason for helping the program is simple.

“These backpacks go to 100 kids. For a lot of them that’s the only good meal they get outside of going to lunch at school,” Seibel said. “I was a kid that was on the free and reduced lunch program when I was in elementary school. I kind of understand the circumstance.”

Though working out for a 24-hour period has become an annual event for Seibel, it’s not gotten any easier.

“One of the things I learned was staying up for 24 hours is more difficult than being active and keeping moving,” Seibel said. “Just staying up for 24 hours is the most difficult and then when you add working out to that picture, it does make a big difference, too.”

Seibel’s workout session included occasional restroom and snack breaks, and is heavily focused on cardiovascular exercises, such as walking and pedaling activities.

“The Backpack Program is one of those things that just makes sense,” Seibel said. “It makes our community better if we can help these kids out and provide for them and their families.”

Anyone interested in pledging money or taking part in the event, can obtain a pledge card at Anytime Fitness in Beatrice, through the Anytime Fitness Beatrice Facebook page or donate directly through the event website at https://www.crowdrise.com/beatricebackpackprgm.

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