DENVER (CBS4) – CrossFit has become a popular and growing sport.

But it’s also evolved into a community as well-known for charity as it is for its tough workouts.

Greg Francisco has been doing CrossFit for about seven years.

“When people think about CrossFit they think about it being tough,” he says. But what does the general public think about CrossFit?

“They think we’re fanatical,” Roger VanKuren, who owns Lone Tree CrossFit, says. When you watch a class at his gym, it may look like a lot of yelling, powerlifting and weights smashing down frequently.

But underneath the tough exterior is a community with a lot of heart.

“They have an appreciation for life,” VanKuren says about his members and CrossFitters worldwide. “They value life and they want to give back.”

Amy Taylor, a member at Lone Tree, found out about how a little girl, Lea, was on a waiting list for a heart transplant. Her family has mounting medical bills. Taylor and VanKuren set up a workout to raise money for Lea and her family’s needs.

“We had 55 athletes from two different CrossFits that came here,” Taylor says. “Everyone hit it (the workout) pretty hard for an hour to two hours.”

They raised $2,500.

Kevin Ogar is a Colorado CrossFit athlete who was injured last year in a competition. He was paralyzed and without insurance. Within hours, the CrossFit community raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his recovery.

“That just speaks volume about the people here and in the CrossFit community at large,” Taylor says.

Francisco says the spirit of CrossFit is about building everybody up. He says it happens inside the gym and outside.

For more information about the fund assisting Lea, please visit

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