Opinion: Norwalk ACTS director gives shout out to Race 4 Chase, Norwalk PD

Anthony Allison

Anthony Allison is the executive director of Norwalk ACTS.

Shout Out to Scott Hurwitz, Joe Madafarri and the staff of Brien McMahon High School for their support of TEAM Summer member – the Riverbrook Regional YMCA’s Race 4 Chase program. “Race 4 Chase” is a camp designed for children ages 5-13, some who have never had the opportunity to participate in a summer program, to learn the sport of biking, running and swimming – the sports necessary to complete a triathlon. The YMCA offers this program at no cost to children who qualify and all of the children are referred to the YMCA through Norwalk-based community agencies.

The program is in honor of Chase Kowalski, a boy who lost his life in the Newtown shooting.  Chase’s family was initially inspired by Chase’s enjoyment of the triathlon and sought to use the sport as a means to strengthen families and communities. This is the YMCA’s third year running the program.

According to Mary Ann Genuario, Director of Health and Fitness at the YMCA, it was a challenge for the YMCA to find space in Norwalk to run the program, “but when I reached out to Scott and Joe to see if there was any opportunity to use space at Brien McMahon, Scott responded within minutes of my request. Since that day he and his team have gone above and beyond to help us make this program a success. It is a great feeling to know our kids are safe and supported at Brien McMahon. We are so very grateful for this opportunity to work with everyone at the school. They have all welcomed us into their “home” and for that we are truly thankful.”

Mary Ann also wants to give a Shout Out to the Norwalk Police Department “who have supported us through a bike drive within the community. We had a higher than expected enrollment this year and fell short on bikes. The Norwalk police reached out into the community to help us seek donations of gently used bikes for the program so our kids to learn to ride. They also spent a lot of their free time with our group leading runs and talking with our kids about important issues such as bullying and making the right decisions throughout life. So many people within the community including the Mayor and his wife have taken the time to stop in and visit with our group and share what they know about the sports and about what it means to do the right thing. It is amazing what you are able to do when you have the support of such a wonderful community like Norwalk. I thought it was important to thank them all.”

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