Tuesday, September 25, 2007

CAF Offices Severely Damaged in Fire: Your Help Needed

Call to action...I am asking anyone who reads this blog worldwide to send a raffle-able item to the CAF.

I'm pretty passionate about helping people race; regardless of any other factor. The emotional lift and camaraderie of other human beings makes a difference in peoples lives. The CAF - if you have a "disability" they help. They especially have been working with US soldiers who have lost limbs in places like Iraq in order to get them moving again. On the CAF page it is Operation Rebound. Can you imagine the mental challenges of loosing a limb? How about "just living"; making a PB & J for your children? Holding your spouse's hand? Walking your daughter down the aisle...do I have you thinking yet?

This is real life stuff. Here is your chance to be a hero. I think having goals, like racing, feeds the soul. CAF helps folks with various "disabilities" (God, I hate that word) compete in athletic events.

This year in Kona we'll see Rudy Garcia-Tolson race the Ironman World Championship on TWO prosthetic legs at 18. In 2005, I was at the finish line (talking to her brother as I was working as a volunteer) and saw Sarah Reinertsen finish live...and if you weren't moved by that...you need to check your pulse and see if you are alive. http://www.alwaystri.net/

Letter from CAF:

Dear Friends:

We are sad to report that on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 22) the offices of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) were hit by a catastrophic fire. Fortunately, no one was injured. However the blaze, which apparently was electrical in nature, was centered directly above our storeroom, which was packed floor-to-ceiling with donated items for the upcoming San Diego Triathlon Challenge (our biggest fundraising event is a little more than month away). Most of that material – with a retail value in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – was destroyed in the fire. The offices themselves will require extensive repairs and the staff will be forced to find a new home for at least the next six weeks.

A couple of notes in the wake of this ill-timed disaster:

1) The office phone and Internet service are currently not operational. Please allow us a couple of days to get these back on line and bear with us as we scramble to resume normal operations. Please check our web site for updates about the status of our phone service.

2) The San Diego Triathlon Challenge will go on as planned. We look forward to seeing all of our friends and supporters at La Jolla Cove on Oct. 28 for this annual festival of abilities.

3) Obviously, we are facing a lot of work to re-stock and replace the items destroyed in the fire. If you would like to help, please consider making a donation on our web site: http://www.blogger.com/www.challengedathletes.org.

With the support of our fundraisers, donors and sponsors, we know we will be able to overcome this set-back and continue uninterrupted in our quest to help physically challenged athletes enjoy the freedom, self-worth and confidence that can only be acquired in the athletic arena. Thank you for your continued backing of CAF.

Yours in Sport,

The CAF Team

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