The IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund will give $50,000 in grant funding to initiatives and groups in the greater Tempe community as part of the IRONMAN®Arizona triathlon taking place on Sunday, November 17, 2013. The IRONMAN Foundation’s contribution will provide support to non-profit needs and initiatives within the local community. Including the IRONMAN Foundation donations as part of IRONMAN Arizona, a total of over $1.6 Million will be provided to support the needs of IRONMAN race communities in 2013.

The IRONMAN Foundation will donate funds to the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community to support youth initiatives in the community. Additionally, grant funds will also be dispersed to numerous non-profit groups including, The Sally Meyerhof Foundation, A-T Children’s Project, Desert Vista Boosters, Make A Wish Arizona, Best Buddies Arizona, as well as others.

This also marks the inaugural year for the IRONMAN Foundation Newton Running Triathlon Team. The goal of the team is to have athletes share the concept of “service through sport and commitment to community.” A total of 44 athletes were recruited from North America to represent the team and share the goodwill of giving back to the community. Eight members will be representing the team in Tempe and have identified Broadmor Elementary School as a beneficiary of their team. These team members will be participating in a field day at the school today, November 14 to share the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle with the students. Additionally, the foundation team will support Broadmor Elementary School with a donation of funds raised by the team members to be used toward their physical education program to encourage the students to remain active and healthy. The donation will be in the amount of $11,000. Former Major League Baseball player and Arizona Diamondback, Eric Byrnes, will be among the team members racing. He will be competing in his fifth IRONMAN in less than two-years.

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. More than 325 athletes are registered as IRONMAN Foundation athletes for Arizona and many 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 over $275,000 for their respective causes. On Friday at the IRONMAN Expo stage in Tempe Beach Park, the IRONMAN Foundation will be hosting an athlete panel where athletes racing for a cause will have the opportunity to share their stories.   Some of these athletes include: Christy Vasquez who has raised more than $12,000 for Back On My Feet, an organization helping returning veterans, Leah Yeager who has raised over $2,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation and Sandy Kreif who is racing for the official Charity Partner, Smile Train.

In partnership with IRONMAN and The IRONMAN Foundation, Smile Train, is the official charity partner for the event in Tempe. Smile Train is an international children’s charity that provides free surgery for poor children suffering with clefts. By empowering local doctors and hospitals, Smile Train can provide this life changing surgery for as little as $250 dollars and in as little as 45 minutes—giving children with clefts not only a new smile, but a second chance at life. With their team of athletes, Smile Train’s – “Team Empower” has raised over $375,000 to provide corrective surgeries around the world.