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Chase Kowalski Memorial Foundation (CMAK) Update

Newtown Pumpkin Festival is Here!

The Newtown Pumpkin Festival will take place this Saturday at Fairfield Hills in Newtown, CT starting at 1pm and culminating after the 6:15pm Pumpkin Lighting Ceremony. Thank you to all those who have signed up as volunteers for the day at the festival and also those who will be working at the CMAK tent.

We encourage the rest of you to buy tickets NOW!! There are still tickets available for purchase at the following link Newtown Pumpkin Festival tickets which come with a parking pass and transport from the designated parking areas. Please carve your pumpkins and bring them to the festival so they can be displayed and become part of the lighting ceremony. For more details, please visit the NPF website at Newtown Pumpkin Festival.

At the Chase tent, we are providing a magic show by Freakout Entertainment, various kid's games, Lego-guessing contest, Candy Corn Guessing contest, Raffle with some amazing prizes, Foundation items available and a few surprises! Join us there to celebrate Halloween and Chase's birthday!

CMAK announces partnership with Greater Waterbury - YMCA

(message from the Kowalski family)
We are pleased to announce a new and exciting partnership between the YMCA and our CMAK (Chase Michael-Anthony Kowalski) Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation.  In remembrance of our son, Chase Kowalski, the students and educators of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, our vision is to turn tragedy into triumph by healing and strengthening our families and communities.  We firmly believe that our foundation values are closely aligned with the core values of the YMCA and that we can most effectively realize our mission to be a positive force in the community through the creation of children and family focused programs in partnership with the YMCA.  

Chase was an active YMCA member and, in his honor, we are proud to announce three programs that will be launched as part of this partnership:

1.  We will immediately make a difference in the lives of children by providing scholarships for pre-school education at the Greater Waterbury YMCA  for families in need beginning in the Fall of 2013.

2.  In honor of Chase’s athletic spirit, we will also sponsor and fund a children’s triathlon program.  The “Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon Program” will be an exciting six week training program for children 6 to 14 years old operating out of the Waterbury YMCA and Camp Wataucha in Watertown, Ct.  Qualified instructors will train participants to Run, Bike and Swim to prepare for their first triathlon.  We believe this program will strengthen children’s drive, determination and dedication while having fun exercising their competitive spirit. Our goal is to expand this program nationally and we have initially established plans to replicate this program in partnership with other communities in Connecticut.

3.  Lastly, We will reinforce and strengthen family values through the creation of “Chase’s Place”, a Family Wellness Center.  Chase’s Place will provide a facility where parents and children can exercise together with interactive equipment and stations designed to facilitate parent and child fitness.  The CMAK foundation has committed to fund a Chase’s place integrated into the new YMCA Community Center planned for the Pomperaug region, only miles from Sandy Hook.

It is our hope that we can continue to spread our vision on a broader scale.  We would like to thank all of our donors for their generous support which is truly enabling us to realize our vision to strengthen communities, families and our precious children. We will provide more details about these exciting developments in the near future.
other amazing happenings with CMAK...

Next Race4Chase Team Event: Fischang-Cicchetti Memorial 5k and 5 Miler, November 24th, 2013, Waterbury YMCA

In a celebration of the recent partnership established between CMAK and the Greater Waterbury- YMCA, we have decided to participate in the Fischang-Cicchetti Memorial 5k and 5 Miler which is organized by and staged at the Waterbury YMCA. This will give everyone the opportunity to learn more about the Race4Chase Kid's Triathlon Program and receive an update on the status of "Chase's Place" and the new Pomperaug region YMCA plus see the location of the pre-school program. It will also give the Race4ChaseTeam a chance to go beyond the 5k distance if you are up for the challenge. Click here for entry form or here to register online..

1000 Miles for Chase Completed

On September 1st, 2013, Kevin Bresnahan was joined by over 80 Race4Chase supporters at Chalk Hill Elementary School where Sandy Hook Elementary School children currently hold classes to run the last mile of his pledge to reach 1000 training miles dedicated to Chase's memory. Kevin began this run at Bethel High School where Chase competed in his first running events transiting 13 miles through Newtown and Monroe to Chalk Hill School. At Bethel High School track and the Monroe YMCA camp, he left Race4Chase batons with an inspiring call to whomever found the baton to complete a race in Chase's memory while passing the baton along to another athlete to do the same.

Recent Chase Athlete Notes:

Alexis Garrity ran the Disney Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run on October 4th, 2013 and passed along the Race4Chase baton which she secured from the Bethel (CT) High School track. Pictured is Alexis (left) with Rachel Delaney, the new holder of the baton. We are anxious to know what next Rachel has in store for the baton next!

Congratulations to Infantry Marine Staff Sergeant Ronnie Lienhardt, Boulder Colorado who completed the arduous Lakewood 50k......despite a sprained ankle inflicted while traversing a stream
at mile 18. Ronnie and his fellow Marines4Chase team have competed in triathlons and road races throughout the summer in Chase's name, raising over $5,000 for the cause. Pictured are Marine teammates, Jeremy Ross and Rob Wold , after the Boulder Sprint Tri in June.

Brian and Kevin Continue to Race 4 Chase:

Best of luck goes out to Brian Mora who will top off his 2013 triathlon season by competing in the Miami Half Ironman on October 27th. While dedicating his season to Chase, he has raised over $21,000 for CMAK. In the process, Brian has been nominated for the Ameriprise Financial Community Impact Award at his employer.

Everyone should check out Brian's Race4Chase video created this Spring to support his fundraising effort. Brian is pictured here sporting his Race4Chase tri outfit, crossing the finish line at the Coconut Creek Sprint Triathlon on September 8th.

Brian Mora and Kevin Bresnahan will compete for Race4Chase at the New York City Marathon in early November. (and this, only one week after his Half Ironman! God bless him)

There are many more great accomplishments by athletes that have been inspired by Chase which we will continue to summarize while making these updates. We are excited to hear all of your stories of training and racing in Chase's memory (keep the stories and pictures coming!) and we will continue to look for opportunities to race together.
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