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y newlogo120Where else can you participate in an event with your neighbors, having little or no triathlon training, and at the same time, compete alongside experienced athletes who are seriously racing for time?  At the Ithaca YMCA Tri for the Y Triathlon!  The Y Triathlon is an annual fundraiser designed to raise funds for the Open Doors Scholarship fund, which provides financial aid to those community members who could not otherwise belong to the Y.  The outcome is an intentional dedication to focus on becoming healthier in spirit, mind, and body with the help of your Ithaca Y.

"We believe that a healthy body supports a healthy mind and improves the spirit", says Ithaca Y CEO Frank Towner.

Towner so believes in the Y's cause of supporting the Open Doors Scholarship program, and the focus areas of healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility, that he is competing in this year's Triathlon on Sunday, May 8, for the first time ever, in the 55 to 60 age bracket.

Believing in the spirit of community, Towner will literally be carrying the community on his back in the form of inspiring notes of encouragement from scholarship recipients, as they travel with him during his bike ride and run.  Supportive training classes are being held at the Y to hone the skills needed to complete the Triathlon, and Frank attends the Bike/Run class to improve his technique.

Frank states, "I am a swimmer, so of the three events, the run will be my most difficult challenge".

Speaking of challenge, Towner is throwing down the gauntlet to all other local CEOs and Executive Directors to join him in the Tri, and if they cannot make the commitment to compete in the Ithaca Y event, the Y will graciously accept monetary gifts towards the Open Doors Scholarship Fund.

The Y, as a non-profit, is able to offer scholarships to those who apply and qualify through annual fundraisers, corporate community partnerships, individual donations, and special events.  The Open Doors Scholarship Program is a critical Y staple that benefits the community, and is a root of the Y cause.  Physical fitness and sports programs that are historically recognized as having beginnings in the Y are basketball, volleyball, and swim lessons.  These do not overshadow the fact that the Y, as a charity, is here in our own community  accommodating those who are in need, have a temporary financial challenge, or have physical challenges that require for attention to wellness – and the Y can give them a boost they need at a critical time.

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