Ironman donated two qualifying slots for the Ironman World Championship to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, each of which raised $110,000.
June 23, 2017 | NEWS|
Last week's 11th annual Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Heroes, Heart and Hope Gala held in New York raised over $2.2 million - $220,000 of that came from the auctioning off of two entries to the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
According to Bob Babbitt, Ironman hall of fame member and one of the founders of the CAF, Ironman had donated one entry slot to the event. When the bidding came down two, each offering $110,000 for the slot, Ironman CEO Andrew Messick donated another entry, ensuring that the CAF would pocket an additional $110,000.
CAF was founded in 1994 by Babbitt, Jeffrey Essakow and Rick Kozlowski to help Jim MacLaren, an athlete who had first lost his leg in a motorcycle accident, then became a quadriplegic thanks to a bike accident. The three wanted to raise money to get MacLaren a van to "provide Jim freedom and autonomy."
The foundation has grown steadily ever since - after raising $49,000 at that first San Diego Triathlon Challenge in 1994, CAF has raised over $80,000,000 and handed out thousands of grants to challenged athletes around the world.
You can find out more about the Challenge Athletes Foundation here.