The 2018 Race4Chase Boston Marathon Team is dedicating its training and racing to support the CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation with the following Vision and Mission:
Vision: To turn tragedy into triumph by healing and strengthening our families and communities.
Mission: In remembrance of Chase Kowalski, the students and educators of the Sandy Hook tragedy, we will be a positive force to inspire community healing through family and children-focused initiatives and programs. By focusing on emotional healing and physical health and wellness, we will positively change the lives of children and their families.
Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski was an amazing son, brother, and friend who was taken from us on December 14, 2012 in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Chase’s heart was filled with love and he touched all of the people that he came into contact with. He loved sports of all kinds and had an incredibly competitive spirit. Among Chase's favorite sports were baseball, auto racing, and running. In fact, Chase began running competitively at age two in track races. At age six, Chase asked to be entered into his first triathlon – in his first ever competition, he took on the field and won his age group!
The Kowalski family wanted to capture Chase’s competitive spirit and vitality in creating a charity in his honor with a focus on health and wellness for children and their families. CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation’s mission has pursued programs and initiatives that encourage personal improvement, healthy lifestyles and strong family and communities.
The CMAK Foundation established the Race4Chase Kids Triathlon program in 2014 to embody the vision and mission of the CMAK Foundation by introducing youth to the sport of triathlon and sharing the experience that Chase Kowalski achieved at such an early age. The program promotes a greater self-confidence, healthier lifestyles and knowledge for the participants that obstacles can be overcome and success achieved through hard work and dedication. They will also be able to share the happiness and camaraderie of being part of a team striving for a similar goal and feel the encouragement and appreciation from their families and their community which participates in the culminating event. In 2017, almost 650 youth ages 6-12 years were crowned Race4Chase triathletes at the FINALE events in three States and 20 Program sites.