The IRONMAN Foundation® Community Fund will distribute $60,000 in grant funding to initiatives and groups in the greater Louisville, Kentucky community in conjunction with the 2014 IRONMAN® Louisville triathlon taking place on Sunday, August 24. The IRONMAN Foundation’s contribution will provide support to non-profit needs and initiatives within the local community, and brings the total giveback to $480,000 in the region.
Through IRONMAN Louisville Foundation race slots, five athletes have helped raise over $13,415 to support The IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund. The proceeds from the Community Fund then provide grant opportunities to non-profit organizations in the communities where U.S. IRONMAN events are held. These funds have provided support to more than two dozen community groups with a volunteerism component in and around Louisville each year. Other community grants have historically included the Greater Louisville Sports Commission and the Oldham County Fiscal Court, which provides parks and recreation services, including the production of 5k races, a mini-triathlon, and duathlon.
For the second year, The IRONMAN Foundation has partnered with Boulder-based Newton Running to form The IRONMAN Foundation – Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team. A team of athletes from across the country upholding the concept of “Service through Sport and Commitment to the Community,” these athletes are asked to participate in a team community service project in the days leading up to their selected IRONMAN race event. Additionally, each athlete is asked to commit to fundraising to support a local cause in their race community. Four members will be representing the team at IRONMAN Louisville.
“Our partnership with Newton Running has allowed us to come into a community and showcase that IRONMAN is so much more than an amazing endurance event,” said Dave Deschenes, Executive Director of The IRONMAN Foundation. “It is about IRONMAN, our partners, and athletes making a difference in our race communities through the sport of triathlon.”
The IRONMAN Foundation also provides registered athletes with the platform to fundraise for The Foundation or a non-profit beneficiary of their choice as they train for their IRONMAN event. These athletes have signed up to participate in The IRONMAN Foundation’s Your Journey, Your Cause fundraising program. Through their participation with The Foundation these athletes have been touched by something greater than themselves and are giving back to non-profit organizations to make their race experiences more than just crossing the finish line – they are racing for a cause. Collectively, they have raised a total of $31,237 for their respective causes.
Your Journey, Your Cause athlete Katie Spotz says, “What makes triathlon and endurance challenges much more meaningful to me is the ability to stand behind something I believe in along the way. After traveling to India earlier this year, I pledged to help three schools gain access to clean water as part of IRONMAN Louisville. It helped to put meaning behind the miles.” Spotz has raised over $10,000 for H20 for Life through the IRONMAN Foundation.
Overall, The Foundation’s Your Journey, Your Cause program has collectively raised nearly $400,000 to benefit a range of non-profit organizations this year.