The IRONMAN Foundation will return to Puerto Rico for continued Hurricane Maria recovery efforts in conjunction with the IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Rico triathlon, which will be held on March 17, 2019.
The support includes a large-scale service project in partnership with the Buena Vibra Foundation, where more than 80 athletes and volunteers will help restore a community centre in Barrios Saint Just and San Antón on Monday, March 18.
“IRONMAN is about creating a sense of community, and through the support and generosity of our athletes and partners, we are honoured to return to Puerto Rico to support ongoing recovery efforts,” said Sarah Hartmann, Executive Director of the IRONMAN Foundation.
“It’s a privilege to support the inspiring and innovative work of our non-profit partners. We look forward to welcoming athletes and volunteers who are traveling from around the world to ‘Race for Puerto Rico’ and participate in our hands-on community service initiatives.”
Service Projects and Grant Awards
Prior to race day on Saturday, March 16, IRONMAN Foundation athletes traveling from around the world to compete will have the opportunity to participate in a yoga workshop with local first responders and community residents as they work to combat post-traumatic stress. Held at the headquarters of Foundation for Puerto Rico, this yoga session will be hosted in partnership with the Give Back Yoga Foundation, the Holistic Life Foundation and the Clinton Foundation.
“A year and a half after the devastating hurricane season of 2017, communities in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean continue to face challenges related to post-traumatic stress and mental health support for residents and first responders,” said Bekah Curtis-Heald, Senior Manager at the Clinton Global Initiative. “This workshop that kicks off IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Rico weekend is an exciting wellness opportunity for the community and provides a spotlight on a health crisis that is too often overlooked.”
“The Holistic Life Foundation is excited to be a part of such an amazing collaboration with the IRONMAN Foundation, Give Back Yoga Foundation, Foundation for Puerto Rico and the Clinton Foundation to help support the people of Puerto Rico,” said Andres Gonzalez, Co-Founder and Marketing Director for the Holistic Life Foundation. “We hope to make a sustainable impact on the island by training local residents and first responders with yoga and mindfulness techniques that can be passed on to their communities.”
On Monday, March 18, athletes and volunteers will travel to Barrios Saint Just and San Antón for a day of community impact in partnership with local non-profit partners Fundación Buena Vibra and HASER. The volunteers will work in teams, collaborating directly with community residents and leaders to transform a school that was closed because of the hurricane into a new community centre, including meeting rooms and a gazebo. The experience will conclude with live music and a family-style dinner for participants and community members.
“It’s inspiring to see how the Saint Just and San Antón neighbourhoods can bring together so many people and organizations in support of their vision,” said Colibrí Sanfiorenzo Barnhard, HASER’s Executive Director. “The community is remaking a closed school into the beating heart of a larger project to improve their quality of life and create the conditions they need to thrive. That much energy and determination is contagious.”
“Fundación Buena Vibra was originally created to help foster the arts and culture of Puerto Rico, and today we help bridge the gap between donors and the non-profit culture of our island,” said Emil Medina, President of Fundación Buena Vibra. “Our organization is proud to contribute to the development of Barrios San Antón and Saint Just. We hope this volunteer day is the first of many more collaborations with HASER, IRONMAN Foundation, and above all, with the residents and community leaders working to make these communities more resilient and empowered.”
Registration for the service project is available until March 16 at www.ironmanfoundation.org/puerto-rico.
Grants will be awarded to the service project partner organizations: Fundación Buena Vibra, HASER and Give Back Yoga. Funding was raised by donations to the Humanitarian Relief Effort campaign, as well as the TEAM IMF and TEAM IMF | MORE IMPACT athletes participating in the event. Grant recipients will be recognized at the IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Rico awards ceremony on Sunday, March 17.
“Through the support and generosity of the IRONMAN community, including our athletes racing on TEAM IMF and TEAM IMF | MORE IMPACT, the IRONMAN Foundation is honoured to continue to support the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico,” said Michael Lynn Sills, Community Relations Manager for the IRONMAN Foundation. “It is humbling to see the community come together with the hope of making a difference in the lives of those impacted by Hurricane Maria.”
At the IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Rico race expo on March 15-16, the IRONMAN Foundation will be collecting VISA gift cards to be provided to the adopted families in Barrio Ingenio, the location of the IRONNMAN Foundation’s 2018 service project, so they may purchase home goods, washers and dryers.
- Kyrsten Sinema, US Senior Senator from Arizona and chair of the Women For Tri Advisory Committee, a program of the IRONMAN Foundation that seeks to increase female participation in the sport of triathlon.
- Sam Cardona, a New York City-based triathlete, IRONMAN Foundation Ambassador and native of Puerto Rico. He is an accomplished fitness professional, athlete and coach, an IRONMAN finisher and a former member of the elite US Army Light Infantry who trained with the 10th Mountain Division.