The IRONMAN Foundation® Community Fund will distribute $55,000 in grant funding to non-profit initiatives and groups in the greater Chattanooga, Tennessee community in conjunction with the 2015 Little Debbie IRONMAN® Chattanooga triathlon presented by McKee a Family Bakery taking place on Sunday, September 27, 2015. The IRONMAN Foundation Community Fund provides community and volunteer grant opportunities to non-profit organizations where U.S. IRONMAN® events are held. With this most recent donation from The IRONMAN Foundation, a total of $155,000 has been given back to the Chattanooga community since the race began in 2014. In 2015, The IRONMAN Foundation will provide more than $1.5 million to support the needs of IRONMAN race communities across North America.
The IRONMAN Foundation provides charitable support to a variety of local non-profit organizations that recognize citizens in need and support The Foundation’s mission. The Foundation works with community leaders to identify projects and initiatives and to provide funding in order to support worthwhile causes. This year, The IRONMAN Foundation’s Community Fund will provide a $10,000 community grant to SPARC (Sports, Arts, and Recreation of Chattanooga), a division of Disabled USA (DSUSA), to provide instruction, training and equipment for individuals with disabilities in the sports of wheelchair racing, handcycle racing and triathlon competition. SPARC’s President, Jerry Hightower, said “The IRONMAN Foundation will be making a difference in the lives of many individuals with disabilities and the volunteers who support them through this grant. SPARC, DSUSA, and The IRONMAN Foundation make excellent partners in developing independence, confidence, and fitness, not only in sports, but also in the personal lives and communities of the individuals with disabilities that participate in sports; as DSUSA’s motto states: ‘If I can do this, I can do anything.’”
“Grant funding is one way that The IRONMAN Foundation leaves a lasting legacy in the communities where IRONMAN races take place,” said Dave Deschenes, Executive Director of The IRONMAN Foundation. “We are thrilled to support the Chattanooga community with these community grant awards.”
Within IRONMAN’s race communities, The IRONMAN Foundation provides a grant program to support organizations that have a volunteerism component. This year, The IRONMAN Foundation’s Community Fund will provide an additional $45,000 in volunteer grant donations. “We are thrilled to expand The IRONMAN Foundation’s reach and impact through volunteer grants in the Chattanooga community,” said Christine Perkins, Community Relations Manager for The IRONMAN Foundation. Last year, volunteer grant funding was distributed among 42 community groups in the region.
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation
The IRONMAN Foundation, in partnership with the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation (FHSPSF), will also provide an additional grant of over $15,000 to the Chattanooga Police Department to purchase a 2015 Polaris Ranger, which will increase their capability to respond to incidents in areas where traditional vehicles may be blocked. “Our number one goal is to ensure all of our community members and visitors are safe and feel safe,” said Chattanooga’s Chief of Police Fred Fletcher. “This donation from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and The IRONMAN Foundation reiterates and strengthens that collective commitment.”
“Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, along with The IRONMAN Foundation, is grateful for the opportunity to give back to those who loyally serve our communities,” said Robin Peters, Executive Director of FHSPSF. “As IRONMAN athletes prove that ‘Anything is Possible,’ we feel that the mantra also represents what can be done to support the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting others.”
TEAM IMF is The IRONMAN Foundation’s fundraising triathlon team. Team members have the opportunity to race in the IRONMAN event of their choice when they commit to raise $3,000 for The IRONMAN Foundation’s Community Fund. Athletes participating in this program through the 2015 Little Debbie IRONMAN Chattanooga triathlon presented by McKee a Family Bakery have raised over $83,000, while collectively all of The Foundation’s TEAM IMF athletes have raised over $746,000 for The IRONMAN Foundation’s Community Fund in 2015.
Featured Charity Partner
The IRONMAN Foundation has worked with many non-profit organizations in the form of charity partnerships throughout the years. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the Featured Charity Partner of the 2015 Little Debbie IRONMAN Chattanooga triathlon presented by McKee a Family Bakery. With 50 athletes racing at IRONMAN Chattanooga, Team Challenge is on track to raise a record-setting $750,000 this year to raise vital funds for research, education, and support for the 1.6 million Americans suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – two debilitating digestive diseases that affect 1 in 200 Americans.
Partnering with an IRONMAN® or IRONMAN 70.3® event provides a platform for charities to raise awareness and educate others about their cause while raising valuable funds towards their mission. Through these partnerships, $6,722,715 was raised to support their respective missions in 2014 alone, and $13.4 million since the beginning of The IRONMAN Foundation’s charity partnership program.
Your Journey, Your Cause
The IRONMAN Foundation also provides registered athletes with the platform to fundraise for The Foundation or a non-profit beneficiary of their choice as they train for their IRONMAN event. These athletes have signed up to participate in The IRONMAN Foundation’s “Your Journey, Your Cause” fundraising program. Through their participation with The Foundation, these athletes are racing for something greater than themselves, and are giving back to non-profit organizations to make their race experiences more than just crossing the finish line – they are racing for a cause. Several of these athletes will tell their incredible stories during the athlete panel taking place at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, September 25 at Ross’s Landing. Collectively, all of The Foundation’s Your Journey, Your Cause athletes have raised over $329,000 for their respective causes in 2015.