CMAK Foundation Newsletter
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    October  2014            

from Rebecca
"I am proud of you!"
I stood in front of the mirror at my first kickboxing/ martial arts belt test this past Friday, one week before what would have been Chases 9th birthday. As a group, Master Russ couldn't hear us. "Say it again louder!"  Again I say it, but not truly feeling it. Then, looking myself in the eyes, I say it and mean it, and the tears roll down my face. I am proud of me! Look what I've just done. Holy Cow! In a matter of 6 weeks, I lost 12 lbs. I worked my butt off. I walked 3 to 5 miles almost every day. I went to extreme fitness 3 to 5 times a week plus a poga class. I have stuck with it for these 6 weeks and now only 2 to go in my 8 week challenge! I've met some great people who have cheered for me, coached me and pushed me to go for this yellow belt. I didn't think the belt really mattered until I stood in front of that mirror at the end of class. I'm now a yellow belt and it does matter because this has been the beginning of my Birthday to Birthday Challenge story, to honor Chase and honor my spirit! I am proud of the new me! 
I look forward to seeing where this Challenge will lead and how I will change by it; writing my own story while still sharing the story of our son, my lil superman, AMAZING CHASE!


Birthday to Birthday Challenge

As introduced by Rebecca Kowalski within the Inspired section of the September newsletter, Rebecca is on a quest of self improvement with Chase's inspiration.  She is inviting all CMAK supporters to join with her in her quest to complete 10 athletic events (road races, triathlons, etc) leading up to Chase's 10th Birthday celebration. For the 10th event, CMAK will stage an athletic competition in October 2015 open to those who have completed 9 events from November 1st, 2014.  Participants must show the bibs from their events as proof of completion.  The format and location of the October culminating event is yet to be determined, but would be in the local area (Connecticut).  More news on this as the event takes shape.  

Participants can compete in any nine events of their choosing, although we will advise the schedule of events that Rebecca intends to complete. She invites as many supporters as possible to join her.  Her kickoff event will be the Fischang-Cicchetti 5 Mile and 5k on Sunday, November 23rd at the Greater Waterbury YMCA in downtown Waterbury. (See upcoming events for link to registration).

We have posted a tentative list of Rebecca's event schedule on our website for your guidance. Here you can register your intention to take the Birthday to Birthday Challenge, so we can keep you informed on the latest news and also keep us advised of your progress.

Come join with us on a journey of self-improvement inspired by Chase!


Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon Program:


Last Call for New Sites for 2015

After the success of the 2014 Race4Chase Kids' Triathlon Program, CMAK is looking to expand the sites where the program will operate by as many as five additional sites. The application process will begin with a request for a Letter of Intent (LOI) from the prospective sites by October 31st, 2014. The selection committee will then review the LOIs and select the most attractive sites for further evaluation and eventual commitment.

Further information concerning the program and LOI requirements can be found at the following link:  

Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program Letter of Intent.



Generation UCAN Invites Race4Chase Community to Meet Meb Keflezighi, Boston Marathon Champion

Generation UCAN, sports nutrition and hydration company and sponsor of CMAK, has invited the Race4Chase community to a meet and greet session with Meb Keflezighi, 2014 Boston Marathon champion. 

Details as follows:

When: Monday, November 3rd, 6:00 p.m-8:00 p.m. with special VIP reception between 6 - 6:30 p.m.

Where: Yale University, Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Room 102, 63 High Street, New Haven, CT.

Download event invite at

Also see below article concerning the participation of a Race4Chase team at the 2015 Boston Marathon.

Newtown Pumpkin Festival Successfully Captures the Spirit of Halloween 

The 2nd Annual Newtown Pumpkin Festival was a big success for CMAK.  A great big THANK YOU to all of our volunteers. We are very grateful for your time and support. Without your help, this day would not be such a fun time for all of us. A special thanks to our avid supporters Chris and Nancy Portolese, Dawn Evanko, Jennifer Heitzke, Ken and Stacey Blinn, Bonnie Lambert, Laurie Badick and Kathryn Wolf who we can never give enough credit for making this event a success.

The day didn't show much promise as we woke up Saturday morning with the rain pouring down, but Lisa Rose kept her faith in the weatherman and said that the show must go on. Like clock work, the rain stopped and even a little sunshine popped out.  

     All of our volunteers showed up to help put our special CMAK area together. With our new Race4Chase tents, we marked our spot, set up the  shop and game area, and we were ready to celebrate what would have been Chase's 9th birthday.

We had a special appearance from STORM, the Sound Tigers of Bridgeport mascot, to entertain the kids and encourage everyone to come out to the CMAK Family Fun Night at the Webster Bank Arena. Thank you to Mary and Storm from the Sound Tigers for their efforts.

Two knot tying blankets were made by festival participants at CMAK's blanket table.  The blankets have been donated to the Binky Patrol in Monroe who provides comfort blankets to sick, traumatized, grieving or homeless children. At our craft table, hundreds of children created their own customized trick-o-treat bags.

This year, we added a few new games to last year's selection. Thanks to the very talented Stephen Kowalski, our plinko game and roulette wheel were a big hit. My favorite and most stand out piece was the new pumpkin lollipops pull, created again by Stephen, and painted beautifully by Cathi Karpus. The creepy pop corn hands were a great prize for our game winners. Thanks to Jolly Time for the pop corn donation and our volunteers that helped to assemble. Munsons Chocolates also provided some of our sweetest prizes.  Thanks also goes out for our dum dum lollipop donation from Spangler Candy Company for our lollipop pumpkin pull game. We brought back the Lego Pumpkin Guess Game thanks to the generosity of the Lego Company while wonderful mums once again lined our CMAK store provided by Scott and Kathy Mason of Mason Farm Nurseries in Monroe. We thank them for their generous donation of $250.00 as well as the mums which were sold at the event.

All in all, it turned out to be a fun great day and we are always happy to be a part of the Newtown Pumpkin Festival.

Remember CMAK when Purchasing your Holiday Gifts

Support CMAK through

CMAK is pleased to advised that you can support us through all your purchases on through the AmazonSmile program.  AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.  CMAK is on the list of charitable organizations. Every item available for purchase on is also available on AmazonSmile ( at the same price. You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages.

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.


DR W partners with CMAK to Inspire Family Wellness
We call her Doc. W, a new friend and partner to the CMAK family. Dr. SHARON WEICMAN, a family chiropractor, dedicated to the health and wellness of families was a great fit with our mission statement and an even more amazing, caring and intelligent woman. In an effort to help people with weight loss and also help support CMAK FOUNDATION, Doc W. will donate $1.00 for every pound lost when you join her weight loss program.
The weight loss program is a six week plan that will help you loose up to 25/30 lbs in a safe and closely doctor monitored program. Watch the following VIDEO for more background. Please contact Dr. SHARON WEICMAN for a consultation to get started. Phone: 203- 261-1790, ChiroThinDocCt.Org

Sound Tigers announce CMAK Foundation Family Fun Night at Webster Bank Arena

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers has generously arranged for a CMAK Family Fun Night at the Webster Bank Arena while the Sound Tigers take on the Portland Pirates.  A portion of the advance ticket sales will be donated to CMAK to support its programs.  

Call or email Mary Boissonneault at 203-345-4829, for tickets and remember to mention CMAK so they will process our donation!

Race4Chase News

Race4Chase and Guaranteed Boston Marathon Entries:

As mentioned in September's newsletter, CMAK has acquired two Boston Marathon automatic qualifying bibs through the generosity of the John Hancock Non Profit Program which requires a minimum $5,000 fundraising commitment to the recipients.  CMAK will make a selection from potential candidates later this year.  Erin Flanagan and Amanda Jacob will join our two automatic bib recipients and compete for the Race4Chase team, having received entry through the normal registration process.  We are looking for other runners who have successfully gained access to run for the Race4Chase team. If you have interest in securing one of automatic bibs or join the Race4Chase team at the Boston Marathon and seek further information, please email

Erin Checks Maryland Off Her List

Erin Flanagan successfully completed the Baltimore Marathon as part of her quest to complete a marathon in every State in Chase's honor.  She finished in a time of 3:35 and in the process passed the 10th Race4Chase baton to a deserving police officer from Baltimore (See "Baton Update" below).  Maryland is the 6th State that Erin has completed.  She will next compete at the Disney Marathon in Orlando, Florida in January, followed by the Boston Marathon in April.

Erin has inspired her sisters to Race4Chase. Shawn Flanagan (on left), who completed her first Half Marathon in Calgary, Canada in June, joined Kelly Flanagan, competing in her first Half Marathon, at the Hartford Marathon Road Race on October 11th. They finished in 2:02:01 and 1:51:09 respectively.  Perhaps they will join Erin in one of her marathons in their future?

Chase's Birthday to Birthday Challenge to Begin at the Fischang-Cicchetti 5 mile and 5k Race

The next gathering of the Race4Chase team will take place at the Fischang-Cicchetti Memorial 5 Mile and 5k Races hosted by the Greater Waterbury YMCA at on Sunday, November 23rd, 2014.  It will mark the first event in the Chase Birthday to Birthday Challenge.  Please join Rebecca Kowalski on her quest to complete 10 athletic events from Chase's 9th to 10th birthdays.  (See above article)

More information at: Fischang-Cicchetti

We ask all Race4Chase athletes to give advanced warning of competitions they are entering so that CMAK can try to alert any other Race4chasers competing at the same venue.  Also forward pictures of competitions to so they can be included in newsletters and website galleries.  Any stories surrounding these activities would be greatly appreciated.  


Race4Chase Baton Update

Baton #1-

Nina Coulson completed the runDisney Half Marathon on August 31st in Disney, CA and, thereafter, passed the Race4Chase baton to her close friend, Crystal Reitz from Oklahoma.  Crystal is planning on competing in the Williams Rt 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa, OK in November. Below are a few photos of Nina from the race including a nice photo with Chase's favorite Disney character, Speed McQueen.

Baton #4

Dyan Coker is preparing for her next race this weekend at the Run Like A Nut Half Marathon in Florence SC.

Baton #9-

Brian Pogue had passed the baton to fellow triathlete, Greg Peck, during the recent Chatanooga Full Ironman competition at mile 23 of the Marathon leg. Greg has three boys who are triathletes, one of which is named Chase. We await news from Greg on the next adventure for this baton.

Baton #10-

Erin Flanagan used the occasion of running the Baltimore Marathon to pass along our 10th Race4Chase baton to Ivo Louvado, a Baltimore police officer, who will be running the Disney Marathon in January.  

Ivo shared his thoughts about representing Chase in a recent email to Erin.

" ...I just wanted to express to you how grateful and honored I am to carry the race for Chase baton to my next race (Disney Marathon 2015).  I am looking forward to passing it on to a colleague of mine who is running with me.  I thank you for committing yourself to keeping the legacy of Chase and all the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy alive.  As a Baltimore City Police Detective I often witness tragedy and despair, but as a father myself I could not ever imagine losing a child in such a tragic way.  I have visited the CMAK website and I am truly moved by all the individuals who have come together to truly turn a tragedy into triumph.  I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me a part of this legacy.  I look forward to seeing you at Disney in January."

Baton #11-

This baton will be carried by Michelle Catucci, school counselor from Madison CT, who will compete in the Vicki Soto 5k on November 1st and then challenge herself by taking on the Pittsburgh Half Marathon this May.  We wish her the best of luck in her training.

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 © 2014 CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, All rights reserved.
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