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Local athletes set up Ironman for Appleton COVID-19 fundraiser

Posted on Dec 21, 2020, by

Jeff Squier Ted Kedrowski are making an impact in the Fox Valley after dedicating their Ironman fundraiser to benefit those impacted by COVID-19.

Imagine swimming, running and biking for miles to train for an Ironman event, only to learn that the event wasn’t going to happen. Two local athletes, Ted Kedrowski and Jeff Squier, had trained vigorously together in the eight months leading up to the Wisconsin Ironman race, scheduled last fall and then cancelled due to the risk of spreading COVID-19 among the the athletes and attendees who come to the race.

“As we know, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc throughout our country and in our community. The impact of the virus has touched our daily lives and changed our goals,” says Ted.

“Needless to say, both of us were very dejected after we heard the news, but after talking about it, we decided to set up our own Ironman course (a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run), in our community and complete the race on September 12th,” says Jeff.

The two decided to dedicate their efforts to complete their Ironman race as a launching point to help those in the Fox Valley who are impacted by the disease.

Diane Zempel

“Jeff called me a few months ago asking what they needed to do to make sure the proceeds from their Ironman fundraiser went to support the Community Foundation and the COVID-19 efforts, and I recommended they add the COVID-19 fund name to their fundraiser name,” explains Diane Zempel, director of database operations, Community Foundation. “We were thrilled to receive a check from their Ironman for Appleton (COVID-19 Fund) fundraiser for $4,784.32, and every dollar of that is going to help those impacted by the pandemic.”

The athletes organized the fundraiser via Go Fund Me to benefit the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, established in March by the Community Foundation  and United Way Fox Cities, with additional generous donations from the community, and immediately the fundraiser took off, with donations coming in from all over the nation.

Ted and Jeff each matched the first $1,000 donated.

“To those who have donated: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Jeff and I are truly encouraged and motivated by all of your generosity,” says Ted.

Needs continue to be critical. Donate to the fund now.

So far the COVID-19 Community Response Fund has awarded more than $1.3 million in grants to 95 local organizations. Grants are focused on the Fox Valley region’s most vulnerable populations and the nonprofit organizations providing urgent basic needs support such as safe shelter, physical and mental healthcare, food, childcare and financial assistance in Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah-Menasha area of Winnebago counties. Learn more here.



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