CMAK Foundation Newsletter
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    October 2015            

from Rebecca

Life, healing and growing, it's  about give and take.  It's about finding a balance, the sometimes dreaded words of, " God only gives you what you can handle." I remember some people saying if another person says that phrase to me, I am going to loose it. I'd always smile and think "you'll be OK just relax give it time."  It has taken me a while to understand that lesson. I have always believed that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. You may think he does. You can't understand the why, but when you do, it makes complete sense. What I wanted to share with you is this. People would say I don't know how you do it. My answer was always through the grace of God. Just this weekend I realized that if God hadn't showed me the vision of what was to come, of where we would be headed on this journey, we never could have come this far. What I didn't realize is the balance that it has taken to get here. The give and take that Stephen and I share getting each other through these sometimes murky waters. He trusts in me and I trust in him. We don't always agree, it isn't alway unicorns and rainbows, but we find our way back to the balance we need. 

Rebecca Kowalski and Susanne Navas Receive Awards for their Inspiration of Others

Fleet Feet and Mizuna honor Rebecca Kowalski and Susanne Navas with Power of Running to Inspire Award

On October 28th, 2015, Rebecca Kowalski and Susanne Navas, B2B 
and Race4Chase Kids Triathlon coach, will receive the Power of Running to Inspire Award presented by Fleet Feet in cooperation with Mizuna to honor runners that inspire others in their community. We congratulate them for this well deserved award.  The recipients will partake in a 5k fun run as part of the event at the Fleet Feet Sports store in West Hartford at 6:30pm.  Everyone is encouraged to recognize Rebecca and Susanne by participating in this run.


B2B Challenge FINALE

at Great Hollow Lake
on Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and, with it, comes the Birthday 2 Birthday Challenge FINALE!

The B2B FINALE, a non competitive 5k fun run with a Halloween theme, is open free of charge to anyone that can provide proof of their completion of at least nine athletic contests since Chase's 9th birthday.  The race will admit a limited number of additional runners for an entry fee of $20.00 on a first come, first serve.  

The race will take place on the trails in and around Great Hollow Lake at Wolfe Park in Monroe CT at 9am.  Please arrive by 8am to register.  There will be a Kid's Games area where they can play and win neat prizes (candy) so bring the whole family!  Everyone is encourage to wear their Halloween costumes including all of the runners.  You may need to understand that there may be a few surprises along the course so bring your smile, good attitude and enjoy the fun.

If you would like to participate, you will need to RSVP at the link below.  We are already 60% full so race day registration may not be available.

B2B Registration RSVP

If you do not choose to run, join us at Great Hollow Lake to volunteer.  Please let us know your coming at following link. VOLUNTEERS

Check out the latest CMAK video highlighting the Race4CHase Kids Triathlon Program and the RAce4Chase Kids Tri in Monroe

Race4Chase Video


CMAK accepting 2016 Race4Chase Youth Triathlon Program Applications

The Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski Foundation is accepting Letters of Intent for the 2016 Race4Chase Youth Triathlon Program.  All potential sites interested in hosting a Race4Chase Kids Tri Program should submit applications prior to the deadline.

Letter of Intent will be due by November 15, 2015.
Acceptance or denial letters will be sent out mid December. Award letters will be sent out December 31, 2015.  Interested parties can access the application instructions as the following link:

2016 Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program Application


Saturday, JULY 10th, 2016    !!!

3rd Annual
Race4Chase Kids Triathlon
Wolfe Park, Great Hollow Lake
Monroe, CT

Kids 6-12 yrs old

Registration Opens Mother's Day 2016



Halloween is when raffle winner will be chosen.  Please rush to get your chance to win!

There is still time to participate in the DISNEY WORLD ticket raffle. We will be raffling off 4 Walt Disney World Hopper Passes. These passes, valued at $620.00, are valid during normal operating hours and provide admission to a magical experience at the 4 unique theme parks: the Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney's Hollywood Studios®, or Disney's Animal Kingdom® for one day. These passes expire on August 1, 2017. The raffle tickets will be available for $20.00 each. The winner will be announced at the Birthday to Birthday Challenge FINALE at Great Hollow Lake in Monroe CT on October 31st at approximately 10:30am..

If you are interested in a ticket, please email us at with DISNEY in the subject line!

Thanks for your support and GOOD LUCK!!!!
Matching Programs:  A Great Way to Support CMAK through Corporate Employment

For those of you that employed by corporations that have charity matching programs, you can investigate whether your corporation would add CMAK to its list of approved matching charities.  CMAK has been recently approved by General Electric who has joined Ameriprise, Mass Mutual, Home Depot and United Illuminating in approving CMAK on their matching list.


Support CMAK through 

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


Third Annual Race4Chase Team at the Tunnels to Towers Run

About 30 CMAK supporters got up early to get into NYC for the running or walking of the Tunnel 2 Towers 5 k. For the 3rd year in a row, our "Pay It Forward" fundraising campaign in support of the Stephen Siller Foundation was a success.  As a group we raised over 1500.00. It was a clear crisp day and the moral was high. We look forward to growing this group as we will continue to support the efforts of the Foundation caring for our veterans and wounded warriors. 


Race4Chase Crowned (Dirty) Warriors!

by Rebecca

The Warrior Dash filled with excitement and fear. (more fear than I cared to admit, not knowing what to expect). It was a cold day to get muddy and wet but, if your going to become a warrior, you can't pick the weather. So our group stands in the holding area and we are waiting, me personally filled with apprehension, looking to the crowd for some support. As I'm looking, I see a warrior on a stretcher in a neck brace on a quad. My Anxiety rears it's ugly head. "What were we thinking," " this is stupid"..."I hate my friends"...."what kind of friends make their friends do this." As they start to herd us off, it's to late to turn back .

Yikes, we start to jog, then run in the woods, going through the trails. I think "this isn't so bad." We hit a little puddle and everyone goes around it. I'm like "this is cake." As we continue, a crazy kid jumps into the puddle shouting, "Come on people, let's get dirty." Yikes again.  I was still pretty clean. Now, we come upon the first obstacle, a 4' wide hole filled with water then a mountain of mudd. I jump the puddle, land on the mountain mid way only to climb down to a 6' wide hole filled with water. OK. It's time to get wet and dirty. And so the fun begins for real! 

We kept a nice pace and went through many of the obstacles unscathed. I got to the top of one and was throwing my leg over and clocked the left side of my knee," that's gonna leave a bruise, for sure."  In warrior fashion, we continued on. We came upon a wall with ropes and a woman having a lot of trouble pulling herself up and ready to throw in the towel. I  started my climb  and was like "Come on girl you got this!" and she still wasn't getting it. I explained a better technique then she followed through and made it up and over the wall, very thankful and very proud of herself.

Our team was split up a bit but we continued on through more mud and cargo ropes. We laughed and joked screamed and hollered. We were having a blast! Toward the very end was the ultimate torture. Helping another woman find her inner strength and a better technique, we got her over a huge wall to find a massive red and muddy water slide. We sat at the top watching others slide down and going all the way under this brown mucky mud puddle. "Hold your nose!" Zoe screamed to me as I was sliding down.  I took her advice and with a big splash I was all the way under. Yuck!!!!

Lastly there was the super thick chocolate looking layer of mud gunk.  I refused to go all the way under and got caught on the barbed wire just above the surface. My teammate, Jaclyn, came to the rescue. After a short run to the finish line and we were crowned warriors!!


Ironman Maryland Well Worth the Wait
for David Prud'homme 

Starting his training in the early days of 2015, David Prud'homme must have thought at times that the Ironman Maryland would never come.  Early morning rides, sneaking in required runs in between meetings and finding the motivation to do what was necessary to meet the challenge, he was prepared for anything.  Anything....but the race being cancelled.  Disappointed was not strong enough to described his feelings as he saw his quest to Race4Chase being taken away by a hurricane off the coast of Maryland.  He scrambled to find another race to substitute, but for naught.  He was all dressed up for the party, but no where to go.  But as all looked lost, he received word that the race was to be rescheduled for two week later.  Whatever the time or place, he knew that he would toe the line with Chase looking over his shoulder.  His dream was back on the front burner and he was pumped for the opportunity that seemed lost.

Race day brought cold temperatures and choppy seas leading many to short outings. Many competitors were unable to get their body temperatures up after a chilling swim.  But David used a strong bike start to raise his temperature and get into a steady grove.  The ride went better than expected until a strong headwind developed at the century mark making the last miles a struggle.  The run was a mental and physical battle from which David emerged victorious.  His 14:06:36 Ironman surpassed his previous mark set at Lake Placid in 2013 by 50 minutes thanks to a bike leg that was over an hour improved.

David has also confirmed that as he was crossing the line to victory, his goal to raise $5,000 for the CMAK Foundation was achieved.  What an outstanding accomplishment for which we greatly appreciate!

Deena Ali Chased Ironman Dream to Reality

Deena Ali completed the Ironman Louisville Kentucky on October 11th, 2015  in 13:35:21 dedicating the race in Chase's memory.  She closed the race with a 4:26 marathon.

Some reflection from Deena on the big day:

Training and completing an Ironman triathlon was never on my list of life goals. The idea didn't even occur to me until one day when I was thinking about the Kowalski family and their perseverance in life and knew I wanted to do something. I knew I needed to do something that pushed me past my limits, beyond my comfort zone and into unknown territory.  Chase was a triathlete so it only seemed fitting to set my goal on Ironman and Louisville seemed like the best place to make this come true. 

I worked hard to learn how to swim, to develop skills to use a triathlon bike and train my body to take the pounding of running after either a swim or a bike ride! The training was intense but I loved every minute of it because my motivator and inspiration was Chase. He helped me out of bed during the dark cold mornings when I didn't feel like swimming. He pushed me out the door in the intense heat of the summer to complete my 100 mile bike rides. His soul filled my soles as I ran every mile. He was my "why" and everyday I strengthen my tri skills, my belief in this mission grew.

October 11th, 2015 was race day and I woke up ready to race for Chase. The swim was harder than expected as my legs and calves cramped multiple times and I stopped to stretch them out as I swam. There were buoys all along the course to guide us and I will never forget the boost of confidence I got when the one and only buoy I saw was #8- Chase's favorite number! 

The bike, which was my weakness and most scary for me, was remarkable. I had my aero helmet custom painted for Chase and it was a great conversation starter as I rode. The miles were flying by and with every stroke I pedaled I felt Chase reminding me to be strong and brave.

This angel stayed with me and helped me run the most glorifying marathon of my life. Every step was for Chase. My mind and heart were filled with love and pure bliss as I thought about all the beautiful people who have stepped up to help turn the Sandy Hook Tragedy into Triumph! My dream of pushing my limits and reaching beyond  my comfort zone became true and I became an Ironman!  Chase might not be physically here with us but his passion and spirit is everywhere. I am honored to have raced for Chase and humbled to be given such an amazing gift. 
"The dreamer in you is waiting
For you to let it free
To lift you up
For you to soar...
Find comfort in the anticipation
The dreamer in you is yearning 
Don't hold back 
For only you can start the Chase" 

2016 Race4Chase Boston Marathon Team

CMAK awarded TWO Non Qualifying Bibs-
Submit your name for consideration

Deadline November 15th-

Access the application here:
Race4Chase Boston Marathon Application

The CMAK Foundation has been awarded by the John Hancock Boston Marathon Non Profit Program two non qualifying bibs again this year.  CMAK will be choosing two athletes to be part of the Race4Chase Boston Marathon team. As per the John Hancock program, these athletes will be required to raise a minimum of $5,000 for CMAK.  Amanda Jacob has again receive entry into the Boston Marathon and will serve as the team captain for the Race4Chase team.  If you plan to run the 2016 Boston Marathon as a qualifier and would like to run on the Race4Chase team or if you would like to be considered for one of the non qualifier bibs that CMAK may be awarded, please contact Kevin Grimes at

2015 Non Qualifier Bib recipients

Baton Update

Baton # 5 - (BLUE)

Donna Decker will pass the baton to 1st grade teacher, Liz Prince, who will run a Halloween race later this week in remembrance of two children who were taken from us much too early just like Chase.  We look forward to seeing photo of the race in our next newsletter.
A big thanks to for donating all the Race4Chase batons for this program and also for use in our Race4Chase Kid’s Triathlon program. 

Copyright © 2015 CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, All rights reserved.
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