Beginning on June 1, executive directors from both the Southington Community YMCA and Waterbury YMCA will kick off a teamwork pledge to run 4 miles each day as a fundraiser for their free youth triathlon program, Race4Chase.
The program is named for Chase Kowalski, a boy that died during the Sandy Hook tragedy. and it was founded by the Kowalski family in an effort to capture Chase’s competitive spirit and vitality. The event, sponsored by the CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, is designed to focus on health and wellness for children and their families as they train for a triathlon.
The Race4Chase program is a free, six-week youth program aimed to provide kids, aged 6 to 12, with a safe, healthy non-competitive environment to discover the sport of triathlon. It brings together kids from all different backgrounds and educates them on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, coaches them to develop a foundation of athletic skills, and inspires them to aim high in sports and in life.
The program provides kids with expert instruction in swimming, cycling, running, strength training and flexibility, and teaches them the fundamentals of good nutrition, all under the supportive guidance of coaches, lifeguards and instructors.
The Southington YMCA is among 15 YMCAs in the state to offer this program, and the CMAK foundation supports each one by donating funds for the first year of operation. After that, each YMCA must be able to sustain the program on its own, which roughly costs $15,000.
After the success of last year, the Southington Community YMCA is committed to raising the funds needed to continue this program for years to come.
Southington YMCA Executive Director John Myers, a long-time runner, initiated the concept for the fundraiser. He envisioned running four miles per day for 26 days to represent the 26 lives lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy.
Myers, along with Waterbury YMCA Executive Director Jim O’Rourke, will run the four mile commitments and will challenge a different member in the community to donate $50 to the cause in addition to running, biking, or swimming four miles on that day.
To kick off this fundraising challenge, Myers and O’Rourke have each donated $500 to their Race4Chase programs.
To make a donation and join the challenge, visit the Southington Community YMCA website at www.sccymca.org.