CMAK Foundation Newsletter

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February 2017       

from Rebecca

Laying in bed, it's a battle. Why is it when you think, "Wait, I declare: this is my year! I feel strong, I feel good, I think I can finally do this! And then, unexpectedly, GRIEF, says, "Ha! Not right now!" UUUGGHH, I feel like Charlie Brown when Lucy moves the football when he's going to make the kick. Flat on my back!! Sadly, I am in the year of my firsts without my Mom. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I know me. I thought, I've got this and I was expecting her to pass. But it is my 49th birthday in March, one year away from the big 50. Half a century. How is that possible? I am the youngest in my family. The baby!

      I went to a friend's 50th party and saw how he was the baby of five. They had lost a sibling not too long ago and they talked of all the love they had for his 50 years, from the day he came home. It was beautiful and both his parents were there. The power of family is glorious.
Well, it put me into an unexpected tailspin. I find myself sad, just really, really sad. This year, 2017, I declared as my year and it still can be. I just need to process these thoughts and feelings, accept them, embrace them and then let them go. It's easier said than done. I've learned from a long time ago that death sucks and it does things to your mind. It gives you the "out" to do stupid things. I've learned the hard way that "you can't fix stupid" (lesson from my dad), but you can "learn from your mistakes" (my motto), and just because you have done stupid things, it doesn't mean you will always be stupid. It's just that grief hurts your heart with no visible scars to show for it. So I must once again pick myself up and walk gracefully through my year of firsts without my mom, my 5 year angel wing day of my son, and my 20 year angel wing day of my brother all in the year I declared to be my year. So, at this point, I think I'll just do my best for today, because when you look too far into the future, you don't see what can buck you off the high horse you're riding on. It never gets easy. But I will never let it break me. Head up high, deep breath and living in the moment.

Chasing the Music in the News: 

AP Story

The Chasing the Music event is beginning to catch the attention of local and national media as well as classical music enthusiasts.  Please check out the AP story above and Channel 12 News coverage today mentioning the event. The event will also have an added attraction to triathletes as it coincides with the Rev 3 Quassy triathlon competitions being held on Saturday and Sunday, June 3rd/4th at Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, CT. We can not think of a better way to top off the weekend after a strenuous triathlon than to experience the Carnival of Animals and other classical music by world renown musicians at the Waterbury Theater in support of CMAK and the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon programs.  Please refer to the event page on our website, "Chasing the Music" to learn more about the event, purchase tickets and/or sponsor a youth to attend the event.

Event Description:

The CMAK Foundation will stage an exciting new classical music event called “Chasing the Music”. Carter and Ilaria Brey and the Kowalski family have become close friends in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Carter has generously offered to perform a symphony with his friends and colleagues from the NY Philharmonic to benefit CMAK.  "Chasing the Music" will be performed at the Waterbury Palace Theater on Sunday, June 4th 2017.  It will feature Saint Saens “Carnival of Animals” and other movements to be chosen by Carter Brey.  It will be followed by a reception with a meet and greet with some of the performers. True to its mission to serve youth and their families, CMAK is intending to provide youth the opportunity to experience the performance through sponsorship and grants. Race4Chase programs participants, students from the Sandy Hook/Newtown school system and local Waterbury children will be some of the groups targeted for these sponsorships.  This will be a very exciting event where adults and youths alike can witness the talents of these world renowned musicians. Ticket are on sale now through the Waterbury Palace Box Office.  

CMAK is seeking sponsors for the event and those interested in sponsoring youth to attend the event. (Contact Kevin Grimes at  Volunteer opportunities available.

Good News, Not so Good News

Good News: CMAK was the leading charity in the Drive for Harte contest by the end of January!

Not So Good News: The Contest is now for every other month so we need to continue to cast votes until Midnight Feb 28th.

For those that have cast votes in January, THANK YOU for your help and remember to SHARE THE POST with your friends so that they will vote for CMAK as well.

For those who have not voted, there is no time to wait, vote now while it is fresh in your mind!

The easy way to record your votes is to access the Harte Auto Group facebook pages above, find the Drive with Harte contest posting and put CMAK in the comment box of the post.  You can vote once per site, six votes in total!!
Share this with all your facebook friends and have them vote as well!

Note: For this page ( you need to scroll down the page to January 1st post while the other pages have the post on the home page.

We are sooooooooooo close, Let's Do THIS!!!!

SAVE the DATES !!!

Race4Chase Kids Community Triathlon
Sunday, July 9th, 2017
Great Hollow Lake, Monroe, CT

Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program FINALE
Saturday, August 5th, 2017
YMCA Camp Sloper
Southington, CT

Sunday, August 13th, 2017
Newport YMCA
Newport, RI

Newport Daily News Coverage


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


Race4Chase Boston Marathon Team 2017

As our marathoners enter their toughest month of training, they also kick their fundraising into high gear with special events.  Scott Sartwell of York, SC will be hosting a fundraiser at the Blue Blaze Brewery on Saturday, March 4th from 3 to 6 pm.  I hope that all those in the area will come out to support Scott and, if not in the area, donate to his campaign below.

After the "Chasing the Coast" Triathlon last July, we should know by now that Heather Theriault does not think small when it comes to her athletic feats or her fundraising.  In support of her Race4Chase Boston Marathon Campaign, Heather will be running/walking 100 miles on March 25th, 2017.  Besides an ultra-impressive tune up for the Boston Marathon, she is hoping to raise $2,500+ in sponsorships.  If you would like to donate to the campaign, please select the link below.

To join or donate to the team, click here: 2017 Race4Chase Boston Marathon Team


Erin Flanagan completes 18th at Phoenix Mesa Marathon


 Erin nearing the finish at the Phoenix Marathon

Erin Flanagan's travels to complete a marathon in every State in memory of Chase Kowalski, ventured to the Arizona desert to take on the Phoenix Mesa Marathon.  This was already her second marathon in 2017.  The weather was much more cooperative than her race in Charleston SC in January and this translated into one of her fastest marathons, completing the course in 3:25:22 and finishing 301 overall and 13th in her division.

Erin Flanagan and Kevin Grimes at the starting line of Phoenix Marathon

Erin was joined in this race by Kevin Grimes and stayed together for most of the first half of the marathon.  Kevin finished in 3:09:05, 136th overall and 4th in his Age Group.  Both received Boston Qualifier finishing times, so we can expect them on the Boston Race4Chase team in 2018.

Sandy Hook 5k Registration Open

Join the Race4Chase team at this annual event.  Run, walk and support on the Race4Chase Team.  Sign up soonest as this event fills quickly.  Registration for the 5k will close on March 12, 2017.



Baton #1-

It has been an eventful few months for the first and original Race4Chase baton which was left at the Bethel High School track where Chase Kowalski ran his first races by Kevin Bresnahan.  Under the husbandry of Sam Dickinson, 2016 Junior European Triathlon Champion from Leeds, UK, the baton has been by his side while competing (and winning) across the globe.  More recently, Sam introduced the baton to the British Royalty of Triathlon, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Champion, Alistair Brownlee, and Duel Olympic Medalist, Jonathan Brownlee, (aka the Brownlee twins-pictured below) during training sessions this winter.  

Jonathan Brownlee - Sam Dickinson - Alistair Brownlee

Sam has subsequently chosen Tyler Smith, Junior National Champion of Bermuda, as the next holder of the #1 Baton.  We await further news from Tyler on where the baton is headed next.  CMAK wishes both Sam and Tyler all the best as they train to take the next step in the sport of triathloning.  Chase is proud of you!

Baton #5- 

Molly Patterson passed the baton to her friend, Amy Rich from Spring Lake, NC, at the 36th Annual First Health Turkey Trot 10K in Pinehurst, NC on November 19th.  

Amy Rich (l) and Molly Patterson (r)

Baton #14 -  Brendan and Madeline Doyle

 Madeline and their son, Ben, travelled to Sydney Australia and were set to run a race this past weekend. We will provide an update of their race in the March newsletter.  Upon returning to Ireland, Brendan, who is training for a double Ironman, will take the baton and compete before passing it along. 

Baton # 16-

Ross Anderson ran the Hyannis Marathon on February 26th, 2017 with the baton, completing the race in.3:26:22 and finishing 47th overall and 8th in his Age Group.  We await to hear if he has passed the baton along.

Baton # 19-

Paul Hallenbeck from Woodbridge Virginia will be running the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon on March 11th and then the Raleigh Marathon or Half Marathon on April 2nd, depending how his training goes.

Baton # 20-

Erin Flanagan and Kevin Grimes
passed the 20th Race4Chase baton at the Phoenix Mesa Marathon to Ernesto Suarez.  Ernesto paced alongside Erin and Kevin during the first four miles of the marathon, discussing their marathoning, Erin's quest and the CMAK Foundation. During this chat, it was discovered that Ernesto is a triathlete who lives in Phoenix but grew up in Connecticut and is friends with many of our friends at the Greater Waterbury YMCA.  Ernesto ran a strong marathon in a personal best time of 3:12:15 and will take the baton with him during his upcoming trail running competitions. Congratulations to Laura Kunces, Ernesto's wife, also from Connecticut, who was the winner of the Clydesdale female division of the marathon in 3:22:19.  Quite an athletic family, the #20 Baton is in good hands!

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


Upcoming Events


Sandy Hook 5k
Love Runs Through
Fairfield Hills, Newtown CT
Saturday, April 1st, 2017

Race4Chase Boston Marathon
Midnight Bike Ride
Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Race4Chase Boston Marathon Team
Boston, MA
Monday, April 17th, 2017

Crazy 8

May 21st, 2017
New Venue: Colonial Tavern
24 Hawley Road
Oxford, CT

Sprint for Monroe 5k and
Race4Chase Kids Fun Run

Sunday, June 4th, 8am,
Wolfe Park
Monroe CT

Race4Chase Team
REV3 Olympic Quassy
Quassy Amusement Park
Middlebury, CT
Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Chasing the Music
Sunday, June 4th, 2017
Waterbury Palace Theater
S. Main Street, Waterbury, CT

Race4Chase Kids Community Triathlon
Sunday, July 9th, 2017
Great Hollow Lake, Wolfe Park
Monroe CT

Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program- CT FINALE
Saturday, August 5th, 8am
Camp Sloper
Southington, CT


Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program- RI Finale
Sunday, August 13th, 2017
Newport, RI
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