The Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs are preparing for their annual 26-Day Challenge to raise $30,000 total for both communities to support the Race4Chase Youth Triathlon program. The challenge kicked off on June 1 with YMCA CEO, Mark Pooler, followed by 26 volunteers in both Southington and Cheshire. Volunteer athletes include YMCA board members and staff, teachers and faculty, business owners, Y members and community leaders, who all will be running, biking, or swimming 2.6 miles for 26 consecutive days in memory of Chase Kowalski and the other students and teachers who lost their lives in Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012.
“Chase's family has chosen to measure their life in love and have pledged to keep his memory alive through a youth triathlon program called Race4Chase” stated Pooler.
This free program is held at over 29 different sites across Connecticut, Rhode Island and other states. The Race4Chase program in Southington and Cheshire allows young athletes from the two communities to train for six weeks and compete in a real triathlon on August 6, at YMCA Camp Sloper. Chase competed in his first triathlon in the fall of 2012 and now his memory lives on in the young athletes he inspires each summer.
“The Race4Chase program helps keep Chase's memory alive and allows children to train, increase their self-confidence, exercise, build friendships and compete just as Chase would have wanted” says Pooler.
Brandon Roillano, Southington’s Race4Chase Head Coach, stated, “Everything about Race4Chase brings me such joy. Watching the growth of each athlete is amazing. Each of us feels Chase’s spirit when we are together. His energy is magic and Chase’s magic is what helps these kids achieve their goals.”
The overall goal is to raise $15,000 in each community, Southington and Cheshire, with more $10,000 of that goal already in. Each participant in the 26 Day Challenge has been asked to raise monetary donations with an overall goal of $385 per person to help make up the remaining $20,000.
“This is always one of my favorite fundraisers of the year. There is always great comradery with all the participants and it helps me get into shape. I often think of Chase and use him and the Kowalski Family as an inspiration on the tougher days” says Pooler.
On June 1, Mark began running and exercising for 26 days in a row.
Each day after June 1, another runner in each community will join Pooler and run consecutive days until June 26. Among those joining him are YMCA board members and staff, teachers and faculty, business owners, Y members and community leaders.
“The Race4Chase Triathlon Program is a one of a kind opportunity, it’s not often that you see a triathlon training program offered like this one,” stated Pooler “providing unique opportunities for our youth to set goals, train, compete and build self-esteem is what this program is all about”
Each 26 Day Challenge participant is eager to get started in their effort to raise money to support the Race4Chase Triathlon Program organized by the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs.
The actual Race4Chase program is offered to kids ages 6-12 to have a chance to try out the sport of triathlon in a fun, safe, and friendly environment surrounded by the support of their local community. That program kicks off on June 27.
If you are interested in supporting the program, visit https://givebutter.com/2022R4C.