Annual Weekend of Events Raises Record-Breaking $3.1 Million to Support Athletic Endeavors of Challenged Athletes Around the World
SAN DIEGO – OCT. 19, 2015 – La Jolla Cove in San Diego hosted more than 5,000 supporters of the Challenged Athletes Foundation at the 22nd Annual Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge on Sunday, Oct. 18 – a day that raised $1.4 million to help physically challenged individuals get the support they need to succeed in sports and in life.
Through the 24 Hour Fitness Tour de Cove cycling marathon, Kaiser Permanente Thrive-5K Fitness Walk, Philadelphia Insurance Kids’ Run, Wawanesa Family Fun Zone and the signature Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge (a “challenge” distance format including a 1-mile swim, 44-mile bike and 10-mile run), participants and spectators celebrate inspirational athletic spirit while building camaraderie.
The Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge has earned its moniker – “best day in tri” – for the camaraderie among challenged athletes of all ages and abilities and able-bodied fundraisers completing the events side by side.
The triathlon itself is the culmination of a full weekend of events. On Friday, Oct. 16, 150 cyclists arrived in San Diego after raising $1.6 million during the 10th anniversary of the seven-day, 620-mile Mazda Foundation Million Dollar Challenge cycle ride down the coast of California. The Challenged Athletes Foundation also held six clinics on Friday, each designed to teach challenged athletes the skills and confidence they need to reach their physical fitness and athletic goals. Clinics include the Open Water Swim Clinic, Cavignac & Associates Kids Surf Clinic, Wheelchair Obstacle Course, Tandem Cycling Clinic, Pool Swim Clinic, and the Össur Running and Mobility Clinic.
“Coupled with important fundraising, the weekend is about bringing our Challenged Athletes Foundation family together – our dedicated supporters, inspirational athletes and generous partners – to celebrate our collective athletic accomplishments,” said Bill Geppert, CEO of the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
Funds raised over the course of the weekend will allow the Challenged Athletes Foundation to provide adaptive sports equipment, travel and training, and competition expenses to athletes around the world with physical challenges, and to support the organization’s mentoring programs and schedule of annual, free mobility clinics.
This year, Team Coastline and its 30 affiliated members raised more than $150,000 through independent fundraising efforts, and $92,000 was raised by participants of the 24 Hour Fitness Tour de Cove cycling marathon.
Sunday also included two special grant presentations made in honor of long- time Challenged Athletes Foundation supporter Kate Steinle who tragically passed away this year; she was a close friend of CAF founder and Board Chairman Jeffrey Essakow’s daughter, Nicole. To honor their relationship, best friends Mayli and Brooklyn, who were both born with Spina Bifida, received surprise grants for a WCMX chair and handcycle, respectively.
Combined with the fundraising efforts of the Mazda Foundation Million Dollar Challenge, the Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge weekend raised a record-breaking $3.1 million for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
This event is made possible thanks to many supporters and sponsors of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, including title sponsor Aspen Medical Products, and XTERRA, Converse, Nike, Lusardi Construction Company, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Wawanesa Insurance, Össur, Kaiser Permanente, BWCM, Headsweats, Wells Fargo, DJO, VAVI Sport & Social, LAK Advertising, VDP Direct, Alphatec Spine, Union Bank, Giuseppe Restaurants & Catering, Nytro, Bank of America, SKLZ, Ashworth Awards, and Rita’s.
For a full recap of the Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge weekend of events and photos, visit Challengedathletes.org/SDTC or go to @CAFoundation on Twitter.
Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $67 million has been raised and over 11,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts reach another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles. To learn more, visit challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.
Aspen Medical Products
Aspen Medical Products is a leader in the development of innovative spinal braces designed to improve patient outcomes by offering effective pain relief, patient comfort, motion restriction and stabilization as needed to support the patients’ continuum of care. Aspen’s commitment to clinical research is unparalleled in the orthotics community and has directly impacted product development resulting in the most effective spinal orthotics on the market. A comprehensive product offering, including numerous award winning products, has helped millions of patients get back to the activities they care about. Aspen is also a proud sponsor of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) for over 15 years and is the Title Sponsor of the Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge. To learn more, visit aspenmp.com.