Some Necedah Area High School athletes are skilled at raising weights, but could use a little help with raising cash.

The high school, which boasts numerous national and eight Sub-Junior World Champion powerlifters, is hosting a fundraiser Sunday, at the Reel Inn Restaurant, located at N96712 Highway 80 in Necedah.

"The money helps pay for transportation and equipment for students as we travel all over the United States and in eight different countries of the world," coach Erich Mach said.

"The funds benefit many. Some cannot afford the expense of travelling, and this is a great opportunity to reach kids, to help them and show support. We have given out $6,000 in scholarships in the past," he said.

Mach and Joni, his wife, both coach weightlifting at the school. "She is 45 and still competing herself so, it is a lifelong skill," Mach said.

The Machs are the force behind the Necedah Area Powerlifting Association, which acts as a local booster club for the sport.

The lifters get financial help from the school during the school year, but competition extends beyond the school year.

The school season will culminate in the High School Powerlifting National Championships on March 23-25 at Wisconsin Dells.

Mach said the sport can benefit anyone. "Women lifting weights is important to prevent osteoporosis," Mach said. "Years ago people worked hard physically and had much heavier exercise. Now we are much more sedentary."

That goes for youth, too. "It is also good for youth to have strong physical activities," Mach said. "Weightlifting shows them that they have the ability to be successful in sports, academics and in social activities."

The most recent Necedah Sub-Junior World Champions are Becky Cook, who is attending Viterbo University in La Crosse this year; and Savannah May, who is a senior at the high school.

The fundraiser is a craft and vendor fair, and a bake sale at the restaurant from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A chili cookoff will begin at noon, followed by children's activities at 1 p.m.

The vendor auction will starts at 3 p.m. and a pizza cookoff will be held shortly after. There will be door prizes along with a coloring contest for a child to win a bicycle.

Michele Baumel, the owner and manager of the Reel Inn, said this is the second year she has held the fundraiser for the group.

"My daughter Ariel Baumel is a powerlifter and qualified for state," Baumel said. "I think it gets many students involved and teaches them self-discipline, good nutrition and teamwork."

Donations will be accepted at the door. Those wishing to compete in the chili cookoff or pizza cookoff are asked a small donation.

For more information, call the Reel Inn at 608-565-2262.

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