COLUMBUS, OHIO – To commemorate the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation's 10th season of giving and its support of the fight against pediatric cancer, former Blue Jackets player and current development coach Tyler Wright announced today that he will compete in the 2010 Subaru Ironman Canada in Penticton, British Columbia on Sunday, August 29 to raise money for the Blue Jackets Foundation's Hats For Heroes program. A portion of the proceeds will be dedicated to the development of the newly established Blue Jackets Pediatric Cancer Family Fund.
Tyler Wright's Race to Fight Pediatric Cancer presented by BlackBerry and Trek Bicycle Stores of Columbus kicked off its fundraising campaign today with an announcement at the new Trek store in Upper Arlington where Tyler was joined by several pediatric cancer survivors who were among the earliest group of "heroes" Wright befriended while visiting Nationwide Children's Hospital during his playing days.
The fight against pediatric cancer remains the Foundation's signature focus for its fundraising, programming and grant-making efforts. As the founder of the Hats For Heroes program, Tyler has been instrumental in helping the Foundation raise over $1 million for the cause.
"Competing in the Ironman Triathlon has always been a personal goal of mine and the fact that I am able to use this challenge to get more people involved in the fight against pediatric cancer makes it even more meaningful," explained Wright. "The amazing Hats For Heroes kids and families I've had the privilege to know over the last 10 years are my inspiration for this and I’m very proud to continue to help the cause."
Support for TEAM TYLER began with donations from presenting partner, BlackBerry, the Ryan Salmons Foundation and Hockey Fights Cancer, a joint initiative between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association to raise money and awareness for hockey's most important fight.
"BlackBerry is proud to align with Tyler and the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation because we feel the spirit of this event represents our organization perfectly, while contributing to an outstanding cause," said Jay Nichols, Regional Manager for Research In Motion, Ltd.
The Ironman Triathlon is one of the most grueling events in the world of sport. Athletes must complete a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and run a marathon (26.2 miles) all in succession within a 17-hour period. Held in Penticton, British Columbia, Subaru Ironman Canada is the oldest Ironman race held in continental North America.
Trek Bicycle Stores of Columbus is supporting Tyler's endeavor by donating a Trek Equinox TTX 9.0, a highly refined lightweight performance bike engineered for speed and designed specifically for use in triathlons and time trials. Trek is also outfitting Tyler with a pair of Verge Sport Custom Pro Classic Euro road racing kits while Giro Helmets is donating the racing helmet.
Fans are invited to join TEAM TYLER by visiting www.BlueJacketsFoundation.org to make an online, tax-deductible donation. Donation levels vary and include the following benefits:
● $25 - includes recognition on TEAM TYLER donor page of web site
● $55 - includes TEAM TYLER t-shirt, donor recognition
● $100 - includes pair of tickets to a VIP race rally hosted by Tyler, TEAM TYLER t-shirt, donor recognition
Supporters may follow Tyler's training progress and send him messages by checking out his first blog on www.BlueJacketsFoundation.org.
About Hats For Heroes
The fight against pediatric cancer remains the Blue Jackets Foundation's signature focus for much of its fundraising, programming, and grant-making efforts. Highlighted by the Foundation's Hats For Heroes program, $1 million has been raised since 2000. Dollars raised currently fund a variety of support programs for pediatric cancer patients and their families, critical research projects and assistance in providing palliative care to young victims.
About the Blue Jackets Foundation Pediatric Cancer Family Fund The Blue Jackets Foundation Pediatric Cancer Family Fund, a restricted fund within the Hats For Heroes program, was established in May 2010 in honor of all the heroes who have been touched by the Foundation’s Hats For Heroes program. This fund will allow heroes’ parents to combine resources and collectively raise money to support other families currently battling this disease. This united effort will eliminate the need for individual families to set up their own foundations which require specific non-profit status. The Blue Jackets players will be actively involved in supporting the programs benefiting from this fund annually.