JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Greg Allen just knew he should be The Hulk. The world and state powerlifter showed his friend, Jeff Pagan, a video of a powerlifting competition where participants wore costumes as they competed.
"Powerlifters do all kinds of crazy things and we looked at it and we laughed," Pagan said. Pagan remembers how Allen said, "Well, I'd be The Hulk…"
"Of course he was a Hulk," Pagan said shaking his head in agreement.
And that he was, according to friends and family. Only Greg was a Hulk with a huge heart.
The NPC competitive bodybuilder worked with Pagan and Greg's wife, Hope, to create the first-ever such event in Jonesboro.
"Greg was a very, very special young man," Pagan said. "He said, 'Jeff—if we're going to do this, we're going to do this with purpose. So, we sat down and we talked about it. We said we want to do this for the American Cancer Society because he himself, myself and we all have someone who has been touched by the deadly villain of cancer."
The first Super Hero Lift-off had 15 lifters and raised $18,000. The next year, the event continued.
But, Greg had moved to Florida to take a new job.
"He wasn't able to support us in that one. Then, unfortunately, in the following year, he passed away from pneumonia," Pagan said.
The remaining lifters decided to rename the event, slated for Saturday, March 3 as the "Greg Allen Memorial Super Hero Lift-off."
The fundraiser will take place from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. inside the Trim Gym. Admission for adults is $10. Children in grades six and under are free with a paying adult. Youth in seventh grade through twelfth will be $2.
"For the event, he put his hard work and effort into organizing to be named in his memory, he would be both honored and humbled," Tamara Whatley, Allen's sister-in-law, said. "From waiting tables through college, bodybuilding, organizing events like this one, his education, all the way to owning his own business, Greg was passionate."
Allen is remembered for his compassion for people.
"Greg was a giver. All he ever cared about was giving back to other people," Hope Gabriela Allen, his widow, explained. " Whether that be through fitness and nutrition counseling or philanthropies, he made a powerful impact on people through his words of encouragement and belief that 'thoughts become things.'"
Hope elaborated on Greg's philosophy of life.
"He said, 'there are two dates on your tombstone that people will read, but the only thing that matters is the dash between them," Hope said of her husband. "Through his life and death, he has proven that your dash can count even after death."