CMAK Foundation Newsletter
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    July 2016            

from Rebecca

Silliness, fun, smiles and love, hard work, respect, dedication determination are all inspiring qualities.

Knowing what a difference our Race4Chase program has on children and families and watching kids be kids is priceless.

Check out our Race4Chase friend sharing what he learned at camp by clicking the photo.

What could be more inspiring?  

Chase the Coast Triathlon:

Come out and Support Tomorrow!!! 6am-10pm

Track the Athlete's Progress Online at

Ch 3 (WFSB) Pre Coverage Video

Radio 104.1 :  Facebook Video Pre Coverage

(see article below in Race4Chase section)


Race4Chase Kids Community Triathlon:

News 12 Connecticut Video Coverage

The 3rd Annual Race4Chase Kids Community Triathlon was once again a huge success for the close to 200 young athletes 6-12 years ago who competed.  The sometimes threatening skies did a great job to keep temperatures in check and the wet weather held off throughout the morning, making it an almost perfect day to contest a triathlon.  

The energy and excitement were in full display as the parents lined the water's edge in anticipation of the day's first races.  Jim O'Rourke of the Waterbury YMCA sent wave after wave of athletes through the water and into the bike transition.  

It was impressive to watch the technique of some of the experienced participants as the mounted their bike and sped off down the course.  The running leg  proved to be challenging for some as the energy levels waned and the path around the lake seemed to be longer than first glance.  But every athlete rallied for a big finishing kick as they sprinted through the finishing shoot and were greeted with the Race4Chase dogtag and a high five from the volunteers.

The awards ceremony at Chase's bench on Great Hollow Lake was a well received end to a safe, competitive triathlon.  Each of the age group top three finishers received a TIMEX watch and a running bib belt for their effort. Three lucky finishers received bib raffle prizes: Abbie Dorko won swimming apparel care of DICK's Sporting Goods, Nicholas Damico won running shoes care of Fleet Feet Sports and Sam Steare won a new bicycle care of Zane Cycles.

In a special moment, Stephen Mullany (right), Chase's baseball teammate, friend and 2015 recipient of the Chasing Inspiration Award, selected Ben Pleva (center) as this year's recipient to carry the Race4Chase baton for this next year and return to complete the Race4Chase Kids Community Triathlon in 2017.   Ben was injured while training on his bicycle leading up the to triathlon, so he was unable to compete in his first triathlon.  In accepting the baton, Ben is determined to come back next year fully healthy to Race4Chase.  Also on hand for the presentation of the award was Henry Terifray (left) who was the first recipient of the award under similar circumstances as Ben.

Thank you to our sponsors for again being so generous.

Thank you to our enthusiastic volunteers for helping making the event safe and giving every athlete the boost they needed to finish strong, especial Noel Mara who took the lead in organizing and deploying our Role Models.

And Thank you to the Monroe Park and Rec lead by Frank Cooper and his team of tireless staff who could not have done enough for us in this beautiful venue.

2016 Race4Chase Youth Triathlon Program:

The fifteen 2016 Race4Chase Kids Triathlon programs are in full swing with young athletes preparing for their FINALE by working hard on their swimming, biking and running.  They are also finding some time to have a little fun along the way!  They have been treated to demonstrations from guest elite triathletes and nutritionists to help their training short and long term.  They have even had some time to work on their dance moves in Zumba class.  We can not wait to see them perform at their FINALE's on August 2nd in Fort Mill, SC and August 6th in Southington CT (YMCA Camp Sloper).  

Come join us to cheer on these Race4Chase athletes!!!

Beth Rosen from Goodness Gracious Living Nutrition teaching Race4Chase athletes in Waterbury proper eating choices.

Race4Chase Triathlon Quilt to be Raffled at the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon FINALE on August 6th

The Quilt was made by Claire McNamara and Donna Prutting who donated it to CMAK for this raffle in support of the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Programs. Raffle tickets can be purchase for $10.00 prior to the FINALE at all CMAK events or directly from CMAK. Raffle winner will be selected at the awards ceremony at the August 6th FINALE.  Please send inquiries to

TODAY SHOW with Natalie Morales Features Rebecca Kowalski

Interview aired on JULY 18th:


Rebecca Kowalski Addresses Fleet Feet Convention as Power of Running to Inspire Award Recipient

Fleet Feet honored Rebecca Kowalski as the first ever recipient of the Customer Inspiration Award at their National Franchise Conference in Huntington Beach, CA. Rebecca addressed those in attendance at the 40th Anniversary Celebration Dinner on June 23rd.

from Rebecca

The night was amazing. I couldn't decide, was I a rock star at the biggest concert of my life? Or movie star receiving an Oscar? The anticipation of the evening was exciting yet I had this peaceful calm to myself. 

The doors open to the Grand Ballroom and we all walked in. We were seated at Table 2 in the front row. Around the table was Brittany,  Erin, Steve, Ellen Donahue, Our new friend, Allison, Stef and Carrie Blozy from Fleet Feet Sports West Hartford, Chuck from Mizuno and myself. Ten people at each table and over 50+ tables. There were actual Emcees from T.V. news station conducting the show.

The night was filled with honors. Fleet Feet sports celebrating  being in business for 40 years. Owner/franchisees celebrating 20 years with the company.  Stores celebrating the great charitable accomplishments through grants received from supportive vendors, highlighting scholarship award recipients who were nominated by their employers. 

If you haven't realized it yet, Fleet feet Sports is so much more than a running store. It is a family, a family of the most generous, caring people that come together as one to celebrate a lifestyle. Owners/franchisees who are only allowed to be a part of this community if they are like-minded, and give of themselves. You must BE vested in your store, you must embrace the lifestyle of health and wellness and BE giving to your community. Never before have I seen a business platform that wasn't relentless about the bottom line. A business platform that follows the heart and is invested in the people they touch.

I felt like it was a coming home party to celebrate my return to an amazing family. It has been an honor to have been one of 5 local winners of the Power of Running to Inspire Award sponsored by Fleet Feet and Mizuno. It was an even greater honor to be recognized by Stef and her employees of Fleet Feet West Hartford to nominate our story for the national award.  It blew my mind that I was one of five national award winners and one of the two videos made to share our stories. Congratulations to Teri Griege for her amazing story of courage, survival and being one of the 6% thriving.  May God bless you and keep you strong.  (See Teri's video HERE)

Fleet Feet Sports partnering with Mizuno Sports in the Power of Running to Inspire campaign has catapulted our foundation into the national spotlight and I will be forever grateful. As I gave my keynote speech the ground shook, I didn't actually feel the earth move, but my family did and later we found out it was an actual earthquake!  I know Chase was there in my heart. He just let everyone else know by shaking it up a bit. We are so grateful.  Mizuno has offered to supply t-shirts for the foundation and also running shoes for the children who are underserved. This partnership will make it possible to keep growing and expanding the Race4Chase Triathlon Program. We will continue to change the lives of children and families as we carry out Chase's legacy.

Mizuno Sports to Provide Shirts and Sneakers to the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program

Mizuno Sports has agreed to sponsor the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon programs by providing to the athletes, coaches and volunteers shirts for the triathlon training program and the FINALE race in future years.    Mizuno in cooperation with Fleet Feet Sports have also committed to providing sneakers to Race4Chase Kids Triathlon program participants who may not have the resources to secure appropriate footware for the training. This commitment combined with the ability to provide participants with bikes that do not have them through our partnership with Bikes for Kids Foundation increases the tangible benefits that our targeted participants receive from the program. We thank Mizuno and Fleet Feet for their commitment to making the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program a success and enabling us to expand our programs in years to come.

Birthday 2 Birthday Challenge 2016- UPDATE

We will update the B2B Challenge in the August Newsletter including a preview of our intentions for the FINALE event in October.  Stay Tuned!

Remember that although this challenge focuses on bicycling, participants can meet the challenge through running, swimming, walking or all the above if they log the equivalent number of hours in training of riding 1100 miles up until Chase's 11th birthday, October 31st, 2016.  (1 mile swimming = 5 mile running = 12 mile biking)

Chase Kowalski Memorial Golf Tournament

Date:  Saturday, AUGUST 13th, 2016

Registration Click Here

Virtual Option Added:

This year, we've added an exciting Virtual option for those who are unable to attend the tournament, but who want to participate in the fun and support CMAK.  Register a four-player team for $25 per person, play golf at the course of your choosing any time before 08/13, and send a picture of your foursome enjoying their round to​.  Teams will be entered into an exclusive drawing for virtual players only that will take place on the day of the tournament.  Each member of the selected team will win an exciting gift from CMAK.


You can support CMAK through all your purchases on  

Here is easy link for direct access:  AmazonSmile

Amazon and the Amazon logo and AmazonSmile and the AmazonSmile logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.

Race4Chase News

"Chase the Coast" Triathlon

Traversing the Coastline of Nutmeg State for Race4Chase

Well it is finally here!  We are only hours away from when Heather Theriault and Christine Kopcha, will be embarking on a quest to complete a triathlon from the southern most point of Connecticut to the Rhode Island border along the coastline.  The non competitive triathlon will begin with the swim leg at the Byram Park Marina in Greenwich CT at 6am. After completing a 2 mile swim to the Indian Harbor Yacht Club on Steamboat Road they mount their bicycles and proceed up the Connecticut coast for 112 miles to Niantic Center School, then continue on foot for a marathon distance to finish at Wilcox Park in Westerly, RI.  The forecast is for extremely hot and humid weather so the focus will be on safe completion rather than speed.

Along the course will be cheering point/aid stations, including at four of the 2016 Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program sites.  The Race4Chase Program athletes will greet Heather and Chris at the Westport YMCA (9:30 am), Woodruff YMCA in Milford (11:30am), Soundview YMCA in Branford (1:00pm) and Westbrook YMCA (2:00pm) (all times approximation).  There will also be stops at the Tile America showrooms in Stamford, Fairfield and New Haven plus Funktion Fitness locations in Clinton and Old Saybrook where employees and supporters will encourage the athletes onwards.

A large group of supporters will converge on Wilcox Park in Westerly, Rhode Island where Heather and Chris will run down the same finishing shoot that our Race4Chase Triathletes run through at their FINALE.  

Come out and support this amazing effort!  Find a spot along the course to encourage Heather and Chris along their path.  Witness the excitement and joy by joining us at the Finish in Wilcox Park around 9pm on Saturday evening.  You can even enjoy a Shakespeare Theatre performance (8-11pm) that will be ongoing in the park as we await the arrival of the triathletes.

Donate to their fundraising campaign at  

Donate Chase the Coast

"Chase the Coast" Triathlon is the vision of Heather Theriault, mother, fitness instructor and triathlete, who was inspired by Chase and the impact that the Race4Chase Triathlon Program had on her daughter at the Westbrook site in 2015. She was so impressed by the positive result on her daughter  (daughters Lily and Avary pictured left) from the free six week triathlon training program and the success at the program's FINALE triathlon at YMCA Camp Sloper in Southington CT that she wanted to do something to support and expand the program so more children could experience the same.  As a CT resident and experience triathlete, completing multiple Ironman competitions, Heather and fellow triathlete, Christine Kopcha, approached CMAK to create a fundraiser around an endurance triathlon that would span the entire Connecticut coastline and in this way raise money and awareness of the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program.

For more details including approximate arrival times by town, see our website at CHASE the COAST.

Rebecca, Heather, Chris and Kevin Grimes at the starting point of "Chase the Coast"

Jeremy Lawrence Boulder Ironman and Baton 

Ironman Put on Hold, but with a Sigh of Relief

First the good news: Jeremy Lawrence, Race4Chase athlete and baton holder, training for the Boulder Ironman on August 8th, competed in his first tune up at the Lake to Lake Olympic Triathlon in Loveland, Co on June 25th.  He is pictured (left) crossing the finish line with his six year old daughter, Sydney.

Jeremy reflects, "I could not help but think how lucky I am to have her in my life and be able to enjoy moments like this with her. It made me think of Chase and his family."

Sydney was so excited by the event that she signed up for one of her own and will be competing in her first triathlon tomorrow, July 23rd, 2016, the same day as Chase the Coast!  We wish her all the best at the event.  Race4Chase!!!

In his training some days after the triathlon, Jeremy suffered a serious bike crash where he was thrown to the road in heavy traffic.  His training partner noted "it was "the worst thing she had ever seen happen to a fellow cyclist." Luckily, he was not struck by traffic although he did suffer some significant injuries to his legs. The quest for Ironman Boulder was put to an end.

Undaunted, Jeremy has set his sights on Ironman Louisville on October 9th, 2016.  Ironman has allowed him to switch his registration. Jeremy writes, "This injury will not keep me from fulfilling my goal of becoming an Ironman and my promise to Chase and his family of finishing in his honor. I may have to postpone to a later race....but I am determined to make this I can carry the baton across the finish line for Chase and his family!!"  

That's the RACE4CHASE Spirit!

Heal fully and quickly and good luck with the rest of your training!

Race4Chase Team "On Yur Left" at it again at Hopkins Tri

Rebecca Kowalski and the Race4Chase Team "On Yur Left" took on the Vineyard Sprint Triathlon in relay fashion with  Betsy Daniels propelling through the half mile swim, Rebecca motoring on the 9.5 mile bike and Sinead Blevio anchoring the 5k run.  They took 2nd place in the Women's Relay division in 1:29:28.

 And look who competed with his Seven + Tri Racing Team!!

It's our Race4Chase Kids Community Triathlon Volunteer Coordinator, Noel Mara !

Noel and his Seven + Tri Racing Team with be acting as navigation and support for Heather and Chris for the first segment of the Chase the Coast Triathlon this weekend.  

We thank them for all they do in support of CMAK and Race4Chase!


Waterbury Race4Chase Triathletes shine at Boston's New England Kids Triathlon

William Navas receives an award recognizing his 5th straight appearance at the New England Kids Triathlon.  William set a personal best by over three minutes and Stephanie Kring completed her first triathlon in impressive fashion.

A big thanks to for donating all the Race4Chase batons for this program and also for use in our Race4Chase Kid’s Triathlon program. 

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