The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) will auction a prized slot to the Ford Ironman World Championship, organized and conducted by the World Triathlon Corporation, at a gala dinner in New York City on June 10. The winning bidder (or his/her designee) may compete in either 2009 or 2010. Proceeds from the auction will help fund specialized equipment, training and coaching for physically challenged athletes so they can participate in the sports that many able-bodied individuals take for granted.
Interested parties can bid on the coveted slot in one of two ways: In person, by buying a ticket for A Celebration of Heroes, Heart and Hope (tickets are $500; discounts available for NY-area triathlon club members; go to http://www.heroesheartandhope.com/-- to learn more) or by downloading and completing a proxy bid form at http://www.challengedathletes.org/
http://www.challengedathletes.org/ and faxing it to 858.866.0958. Proxy bid forms will be accepted through Noon (PST) on Tuesday, June 9. The minimum opening bid for proxy bidders is $20,000 and during the live auction, bids will be made in increments of $1,000 until the bidder's maximum bid is reached. The winning bidder must have completed an Ironman 70.3 or other long distance triathlon by Oct. 1 prior to the Hawaii race date and is required to submit a completed athlete waiver to Ironman. For a complete list of auction rules, go to http://www.challengedathletes.org/.
"As we prepare for our third annual event, we recognize the importance of the event sponsors like Ironman," said Virginia Tinley, CAF's Executive Director. "The Ironman slot has always been a significant and extremely popular item in the live auction, and has raised many thousands of dollars to support the important mission of the Challenged Athletes Foundation."
Held at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, A Celebration of Heroes, Heart and Hope will feature challenged athlete "stars," celebrities, and notable New Yorkers. Funds raised at the event will help challenged athletes overcome the economic roadblocks to participation in sports and live life to the fullest. This year's gala will honor Mark Holowesko, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Holowesko Partners Ltd. for his leadership, contributions and athletic success.
About Challenged Athletes Foundation
Since 1994, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) has raised more than $21 million and satisfied more than 4,000 funding requests from challenged athletes around the world via its Access for Athletes program. CAF provide funding directly to physically challenged individuals for the acquisition of adaptive sports equipment like sports wheelchairs, mono-skis, tandem bicycles, handcycles and sports prosthetics. Additionally CAF provides funds to entry- and elite-level athletes for training and competition expenses. Through its other programs - Catch a Rising Star (mentoring and introduction to sports), Operation Rebound (for U.S. military personnel and first responders injured while serving) and Reach High (community outreach), the organization reaches an additional 65,000 individuals per year. In 2009, CAF distributed more than $1.36 million in funding to 765 individuals in 49 U.S. states and 25 countries. To learn more, log on to http://www.challengedathletes.org/ or call 858-866-0959.
World Triathlon Corporation, owners and organizers of Ironman, is a Florida-based company recognized for athletic excellence, performance and quality products. With the addition of the Ironman 70.3 Series, Ironman now has more than 42 qualifying events worldwide. Supported by partners that include Ford Motor Company, Dell, Timex and Gatorade, Ironman is the No.1 user-based sports brand in the world. Ironman has been a respected name in triathlon since its inception nearly 30 years ago and is regarded as the world's most challenging endurance event. Millions may remember moments in Ironman history such as Julie Moss' crawl to the finish line in 1982, which was showcased on ABC's Wide World of Sports. Each year, more than 80,000 athletes compete for slots in the Ford Ironman World Championship held every October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and the Ironman World Championship 70.3 held every November in Clearwater, FL. The Ironman brand has been featured in a range of media outlets to include NBC, CNN Headline News, The Wall Street Journal, People, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and USA Today.