Firefighters’ fitness challenge to benefit young survivor of violent attack

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Courtesy image.
Courtesy image.

A group of local first responders is calling all area athletes to help become heroes for a little boy left motherless last year after a senseless act of violence.

The Wilmington Professional Firefighters Association will host a fitness challenge this Saturday to ensure three-year-old Dea’yion Lamont Doe Taylor’s future is bright despite its dark beginnings.

In September 2015, Dea’yion’s mother and one-year-old sister were killed outside an apartment complex on Greentree Road. Though Dea’yion survived, he suffered a deep laceration to his arm.

The state is seeking the death penalty for 35-year-old Darrell Gerard Taylor, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths, among a host of other related charges.

According to a release from Scott Monroe, vice president of the Wilmington Professional Firefighters Association (WPFFA), the group decided to get involved after the “men and women who responded to help Dea’yion were particularly touched by the tragedy he suffered.”

All proceeds from Saturday’s fitness challenge – set for 10 a.m. at USS NC Battleship Park – will be used to establish a scholarship for Dea’yion.

The event will see teams of three competing in a “multi-stage combination of high intensity cross-training exercises inspired by the physical demands of being a firefighter.”

Participants of all fitness levels are invited to participate, and can expect a workout that involves high-intensity interval training, running, Olympic weightlifting and/or a “Strongman”-type event.

“While challenging, the events will be appropriately timed, weighted and structured so even a novice athlete can participate,” Monroe said.

The entry fee is $120 per team, and online registration for male and female teams remains open through Friday.

But WPFFA is hoping spectators will show up to cheer on the competitors, and donate to the cause if they are so inclined.

“Your attendance or monetary donation will ensure a fun-filled, well-attended and meaningful day,” Monroe said.

Local food trucks will be onsite during the challenge, along with a beer tent to provide refreshments for athletes and onlookers alike.

For more information, contact event athletic director Josh Edwards, (910) 616-8046.

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