BENEFITING: Friends of Fulton Parks
ORGANIZER: THE IRONMAN FOUNDATION
EVENT: Your Journey Your Cause 2017
My selfless journey is dedicated to the memory of my friend Stephen Smola and am participating in the 2017 Ironman Lake Placid for his cause. My goal is to raise awareness for bipolar disorder and finish the 17 hour race for a young man named Mason, who lost a mentor and his best friend Stephen Smola to bipolar disorder.
Our friend Stephen Smola passed away in September 2016 at the age of 31 and I am dedicating this fundraiser with all benefits going to the FREINDS OF FULTON PARKS.
Stephen was a very strong and passionate man with a big heart always talking about taking care of his family and giving something back to his community. Stephen became very interested in all the parks of Fulton. Fulton, NY is a city just below the Ontario Lake in New York. Mostly known for snow fall records in upstate NY, he started running in the evenings and became fascinated with how many parks there are in this small town. He would run to these parks, notice something in particular about them, and then go home and share his ideas on how he could improve them with his family. He wanted to find a way to contribute.
Stephen became my good friend through work. Our first encounter was when I spotted him tying a plastic bag to his desk. When I asked why, he told me this is what he loves to do. What I didn't know was that for the past 5 years, he tied an empty bag every single morning and every night he went home, the bag would be full of empty plastic bottles and cans. Everybody knew never to throw out their cans and bottles but put them in Stephen's bag. You see, Stephen collected these so at the end of the year, he could redeem them and give back to the community. This was never about Stephen but instead, it was about working together with people and making a team effort for a better tomorrow.
The story is that he would bring these bags home and put them in his garage. At the end of the year, he would load the plastic bags into his truck and snowmobile trailer and take them in for redemption. All his energy and passion was about putting forth an effort to make the people think and make the Fulton a better place to live.
Stephen Smola was great friend of mine, a very loved family man, and a person that lived by honor, courage, and passion. My collection efforts are for Stephen Smola to honor his memory by giving something back to the Parks of Fulton where he will always be remembered and never forgotten. With the donations, we would like to build a bench in his memory or start a can collection bucket in all the parks through the Ironman Foundation Program of My Journey My Cause. Please help me reach our goal. Thank you.
If you would like to learn more about Bipolar Disorder, please visit here.