Athletes Donate More Than $320,000 in Entry Fees to School Food Programs

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Over $16,000.00 donated to organizations in Utah by Crusher in the Tushar athletes. 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, (September 30, 2020) — With endurance events across the world cancelled due to COVID-19, Life Time, which owns and produces more than thirty premier marathons, triathlons and cycling races, worked with athletes to create unique and impactful philanthropic opportunities to benefit children and their families in need. To date, these opportunities total more than $320,000, which will be provided to 7 school districts across the country through the Life Time Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit and charitable arm of Life Time that works with school districts across the country to inspire and impact the removal of “The Harmful 7.”

Burke Swindlehurst, event director of Life Time's Crusher in the Tushar, presents the Beaver County School District with a check for $6581.00. Photo courtesy Life Time Events
Burke Swindlehurst, event director of Life Time's Crusher in the Tushar, presents the Beaver County School District with a check for $6581.00. Photo courtesy Life Time Events

Athletes from nine of Life Time’s signature events were given the option to donate their already-paid entry fees to the Life Time Foundation, to not only improve school menus by removing highly processed and artificial ingredients identified as negatively impacting student’s health but also to assist in the Foundation’s newest focus – to provide immediate assistance for school food programs’ growing needs for personal protective equipment and funding as they navigate entering a new school year amidst the pandemic.

“Our Life Time team recognized that our school partners were facing unprecedented and urgent challenges and needed our immediate support to safely continue serving kids and families, and it so happens that we have the most generous athletes,” said Kimo Seymour, President of Events and Media at Life Time and Executive Director of the Life Time Foundation.

“As we notified them of our race cancellations, we provided options for handling their race fees, which is something that many other races are unable to do. While we weren’t sure how many people would opt for donating their entry fees, we have been blown away by the overwhelming kindness of thousands.”

Burke Swindlehurst, event director of Life Time's Crusher in the Tushar, presents the Piute County School District with a check for $6581.00. Photo courtesy Life Time Events
Burke Swindlehurst, event director of Life Time's Crusher in the Tushar, presents the Piute County School District with a check for $6581.00. Photo courtesy Life Time Events

Participants from the Life Time-produced cancelled races include those originally registered for the 2020 Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, HOKA ONE ONE Chicago Half Marathon & 5K, cbdMD Chicago Triathlon, Verizon New York City Triathlon, Minneapolis Triathlon, Crusher in the Tushar, Garmin DK, and Leadville Race Series, among others.

80 of Utah’s Crusher in the Tushar athletes donated a total of $13,162 to the Life Time Foundation – equaling $6,581 each to Beaver County Schools and Piute County Schools. Additionally, the Lone Goat Edition (a virtual event we held for Crusher athletes) brought in additional funds with which we were able to give $1,000 each to Beaver County Children’s Justice Center, Beaver County Search & Rescue and the Piute County Volunteer Emergency Medical Services (both Beaver County Search & Rescue and Piute County Volunteer EMS provide critical support for the race).

“Crusher riders have been making me proud for the last decade with their determination, dedication and grit – but their show of generosity in fundraising for our host communities, especially in this particularly challenging year, makes me the proudest I’ve been by far,” said Burke Swindlehurst, Events Manager at Life Time Events and Founder of the Crusher in the Tushar.

In addition to registration fee donations, Life Time also created the Leadville 100,000-Foot Challenge, a virtual event to take the place of the marquee Leadville Race Series’ 100-mile Run and Bike races originally scheduled in mid-August. More than 2,060 athletes participated in the challenge, and 100 percent of the proceeds were also donated to the Life Time Foundation.

Between both initiatives, a current total of $320,036 has been donated to the Life Time Foundation by more than 4,000 athletes as of September 1. With this money, the Life Time Foundation has provided immediate COVID-19 assistance grants to school districts in the markets that the races were to take place. 

Additional school districts receiving money from the Foundation include:

  • Lake County School District – Leadville, Colo.
  • New York City Department of Education – New York, N.Y.
  • Minneapolis Public Schools – Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Chicago Public Schools – Chicago, Ill.
  • Emporia Public Schools – Emporia, Kan.

Seymour added, “These grants are the result of athletes across the country making individual decisions that collectively create a significant impact. It’s because of them that this is possible. We are also incredibly thankful to the school meal professionals, who are working tirelessly to safely deliver food to children during this crisis.”

As of August 2020, the Life Time Foundation partners with 25 school districts across the country, which represent 242 million meals served to 1.5 million students per year.

Life Time continues to monitor evolving COVID-19 happenings for potential impact on its 2021 race season. To learn more about Life Time Athletic Events, visit EventsByLifetime.com.

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