Creating Good from Tragedy
Six-year-old Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski was one of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook shooting on December 14, 2012. As a result of the tragedy, Chase’s heartbroken family bravely created a fun, beneficial program for the community. Even at his young age, Chase loved to do triathlons. The Kowalski’s knew Chase loved the challenge of the race and the feeling of accomplishment and joy he received when finishing one. That’s why the CMAK (Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski) Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation was born.
Race4Chase, a program of the Foundation, provides training and nutrition education to children and prepares them to compete in the Race4Chase triathlon. To capture Chase’s competitive spirit and energy, the Kowalski’s created Race4Chase to promote health and wellness for Connecticut children and their families. The free, six week camp is offered at 15 YMCA’s throughout the state, including the Norwalk YMCA.
“To help support this amazing program, I have partnered with the Riverbrook Regional YMCA,” explains, Wilton State Farm Agent Karen O’Brien.
The Norwalk YMCA is entering its 4th year of hosting the Race4Chase camp. “Last summer, 54 children from South Norwalk, ages 6-12, attended the camp,” explains Karen. “Three hours are spent on triathlon sports, which are biking, swimming and running. For many kids, this is their first camp experience.”
To do her part, Karen will donate $10.00 for every insurance quote request she receives when the Race4Chase program is mentioned throughout February. This effort is in conjunction with the State Farm Quotes for Good program where agents choose a charity as the recipient of these donations. All of Karen’s donations will support the Race4Chase camp at the Norwalk YMCA. The YMCA supplies the bikes, helmets and swimsuits, and donations are accepted to purchase these items.
“Race4Chase is a great way to honor a young boy lost too soon and help children understand the importance of exercise and persistence,” says Karen. “I couldn’t be more proud of this initiative and it’s an honor to be involved.”