The Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski (CMAK) Foundation Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, Inc has announced that it will be expanding the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program to 19 locations in 2017 — 14 in Connecticut, four in South Carolina, and two in Rhode Island, including Newport.

Race4Chase, a youth triathlon program founded by Rebecca and Stephen Kowalski’s CMAK Foundation, celebrates the life of Chase Kowalski. Chase, a victim of the Sandy Hook tragedy, was an enthusiastic young triathlete. The program was developed to remember Chase’s life and spirit through the achievements and experiences of other children in the triathlon sport.

Joining last year’s 14 Connecticut program sites (Farmington Valley YMCA, Greater Waterbury YMCA, Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA, Naugatuck YMCA, Northern Middlesex YMCA, Northwest YMCA, Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut, Riverbrook Regional YMCA, Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA, Soundview Family YMCA, Valley Shore YMCA, Wallingford YMCA, Westport Weston YMCA, and Woodruff Family YMCA) will be four sites in South Carolina and two additional sites in Pawtucket and Newport, R.I. Through these sites, the partnership will make upward of 700 Race4Chase triathletes by the end of this summer.

Dates and details for the Newport event have not been announced just yet.

The CMAK Foundation and YMCA partnerships has allowed hundreds of children to participate in a youth triathlon training program free-of-charge through CMAK funding.

Jim O’Rourke, chief executive officer of the Greater Waterbury YMCA, said it is always encouraging to see youth choose to do something healthy for the summer.

“It feels even better to know that Race4Chase is able to provide an active, healthy summer experience to kids of any and all economic backgrounds,” Mr O’Rourke added. “The Y’s partnership with the CMAK Foundation strengthens our cause for healthy living in theses numerous communities and beyond.”

The Connecticut programs will hold a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony at The Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury on Thursday, January 26 (snow date will be February 2).

This is the fourth year in a row that the Race4Chase program has expanded to reach hundreds more youth in communities that will benefit from this six-week, free 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.

Organizers request that readers consider sharing this moment with the Kowalski family as their vision, inspired by Chase, grows and becomes real for hundreds of youth.

Full details about the Race4Chase program can be found at cmakfoundation.org/race4chase-2.

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.