CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation Picks Wilton Y for Kids Triathlon [VIDEO]

The Riverbrook Regional YMCA has been chosen to receive funding from the CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, Inc. for the 2016 Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program.

The Race4Chase Triathlon Program will be offered to children ages 6-12 years old. The program provides youth with a fun, skill building, life-changing experience by introducing them to the sport of triathlon. The free program will run for six weeks beginning in June and ending on Race Day in August. Race day is the culmination of the program where all the youth athletes from the 14 participating program sites come together to compete in a USAT-sanctioned triathlon race to be held at the YMCA Camp Sloper Day Camp and Outdoor Center in Southington.

In a press release, Wilton Y/Riverbrook Regional YMCA officials say they are “honored to be partnering with the CMAK Foundation which has allowed hundreds of children to participate in a youth triathlon training program free-of-charge through CMAK funding.”

Race4Chase is a youth Triathlon program founded by Rebecca and Stephen Kowalski’s CMAK (Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski) Foundation, which celebrates the life of Chase Kowalski, one of the children killed in Sandy Hook. Chase was an enthusiastic young triathlete and the program was developed to remember his life and spirit through the achievements and experiences of other children in the sport.

“It’s always great to see our community’s youth choose to do something healthy for the summer, and it feels even better to know that Race4Chase is able to provide an active summer experience to kids of any and all economic backgrounds. The Y’s partnership with the CMAK Foundation strengthens our cause for healthy living in theses numerous communities and beyond,” remarked Bob McDowell, chief executive officer of the Riverbrook Regional YMCA.

This year, the CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, Inc. is expanding the Race4Chase to 14 locations in CT. Wilton/Riverbrook YMCA is one of six additional sites being added:  Riverbrook Regional YMCA, Farmington Valley YMCA, Naugatuck YMCA, Soundview Family YMCA, Wallingford YMCA, and Westport Weston YMCA. They join last year’s eight CT program sites:  Greater Waterbury YMCA, Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA, Northern Middlesex YMCA, Northwest YMCA, Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut, Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA, Valley Shore YMCA, and Woodruff Family YMCA. Now, with all 14 locations, the partnership will make upwards of 500 new Race4Chase triathletes by the end of this summer.

The Riverbrook Regional YMCA staff, board and volunteers joined representatives from the other 13 sites at a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony at the Mattatuck Museum on Thursday, Jan. 28. 

Pictured left to right top row Kevin Grimes, Executive Director CMAK Foundation; Desi Edwards, Afterschool and Day Camp Director, Norwalk YMCA Branch; Christene Freedman, Director of Development and Marketing, Riverbrook Regional YMCA; Kim Murphy, Sr. Director of Childcare and Day Camp Programs, Riverbrook Regional YMCA; Howard Steinberg, CVO, Riverbrook Regional YMCA; Bob McDowell, CEO, Riverbrook Regional YMCA) Bottom row Mary Ann Genuario, Director of Health and Wellness, Riverbrook Regional YMCA; Rebecca Kowalski, Founder, CMAK Foundation; Rocio Fields, Triathlete and Member of the Riverbrook Regional YMCA
Pictured top row (L-R) Kevin Grimes, exec. dir. CMAK Foundation; Desi Edwards, after school and day camp dir., Norwalk YMCA; Christene Freedman, director of development & marketing, Riverbrook Regional YMCA; Kim Murphy, sr. dir. of childcare & day camp programs, Riverbrook Regional YMCA; Howard Sternberg, CVO, Riverbrook Regional YMCA; Bob McDowell, CEO, Riverbrook Regional YMCA). Bottom row: Mary Ann Genuario, director of health & wellness, Riverbrook Regional YMCA; Rebecca Kowalski, founder, CMAK Foundation; Rocio Fields, triathlete and member of the Riverbrook Regional YMCA

This is the third year in a row that the Race4Chase program has expanded to reach hundreds more youth in our communities that will benefit from this 6-week program focused on Healthy Living and self confidence. Many combined efforts have been an important part of the success and expansion of the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program.  Please consider sharing this moment with the Kowalski family as their vision, inspired by Chase, grows and becomes real for hundreds of youth.

Enrollment is limited. Applications will be posted to the Riverbrook Regional YMCA web site in mid-February.

About Race4Chase:

The Race4Chase program incorporates training with mentoring, often featuring special guests.  Throughout the summer, the participants will hear from a number of local and regional triathlete superstars, as well as learn about much more than just swimming, biking and running.  Race4Chase also focuses on building self-confidence and empowerment as a primary developmental asset. Children learn about centered and focused warm ups and create projects that help them learn about themselves and their personal transformations throughout the six weeks.

Find out more about the Race4Chase program online and for information about the CMAK Foundation visit the foundation website.