Categorized | Volunteering

Ironman Foundation’s kokua helping Kona community

By Kara Deschenes | Ironman

As a way of celebrating and thanking the community for hosting the Ironman World Championship race each year, the Ironman Foundation continues to embrace the kokua value by supporting various local initiatives.

Over the last decade alone, the Ironman Foundation provided more than $800,000 to local non-profit groups and charitable endeavors as a way to enhance the lives of Big Island residents.

Programs to receive this funding include the Kona Volunteer Fire Department – Bravo 7, Hospice of Kona, and People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaii (PATH).

In conjunction with the Ironman Foundation, each group determined the best use for donated monies. The Fire Department was able to procure a brush fire truck. Hospice of Kona and PATH both choose to purchase a 15 passenger van (insurance and gas for one year included).

The 2012 race year makes no exception for the Ironman Foundation’s kokua. A major grant of $60,000 will fund the restoration of the Makaeo Event Pavillion.

As the site for town meetings, cultural events and family celebrations, the pavilion is a keystone location for the community of Kona. The grant provides the funds necessary to make both aesthetic and structural improvements to the building so that locals may continue to enjoy the facility for many years to come.

An additional $68,000 will be awarded to numerous local charities, making the Ironman Foundation’s 2012 total contribution $128,000. Members of the community and Ironman staff have chipped and volunteered in support of the project.

In addition to allocating funds to the Big Island, the Ironman Foundation provides athletes with a platform to fundraise for a non-profit beneficiary of their choice while they train to compete in an Ironman event.

There are 14 athletes who have qualified to participate in the Ironman World Championships who are also participating in the Ironman Foundation’s “Your Journey, Your Cause” program.

These athletes have been touched by something greater than themselves and are fundraising to make their race an experience more than just crossing the finish line. They are racing for a cause.

Collectively, they raised more than $500,000 for their respective charities.

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