The Challenged Athletes of West Virginia began participating in TCF's Run For It event in 2012. Since then they have raised $70,452 for their organization. Here Chris Ujvagi, Martin Williams and Dave Begg share their experiences.
My name is Martin Williams and I’ve only been in Canaan Valley area for almost 3 years now. I’ve been lucky enough to meet up with David Begg and Chris Ujvagi and help out with Challenged Athletes of West Virginia.
What’s interesting is, so I’m the director of Challenged Athletes of West Virginia at Timberline. It’s been nice because that gives us an opportunity to work together on this venture. Run For It brings the Snowshoe group and the Canaan Valley/Timberline group together so we can collaborate to get some of our students to come out, some of our staff to come out, other people participating and it has given us opportunities to get more equipment to get more people out on the snow.
We have a family in particular that has been able to come out – a piece of equipment we were able to get. Her family has came and pretty much when they fill out the waiver form it says what medications are you on, what do you need to do. The dad just kinda laughed at us and said, “It doesn’t matter. We just want to put a smile on her face.” And then she’s come back and skied with us a couple years. This past year…she passed right before her family was supposed to come up and come skiing with us. So we’ve been able to get very intimate with families and have experiences. We have a piece of equipment and we’re able to provide something for a family to put a smile on someone’s face and the family’s face. I feel sometimes we get more out of it than they do. Just that impact that they can have on us. Being able to provide that, you remember it the rest of your life.
My name is David Begg and I am the Executive Director of Challenged Athletes of West Virginia. We basically serve all counties of West Virginia. We’re located in Pocahontas County and serve children & adults in many surrounding states as well.
I think we’re on 5 years now [of participating in Run For It]. I’ve been really impressed with every event. The first event was a really neat happenin’ in the town of Davis, WV – lot of great people havin’ a fun day. It’s helped change the way we raise funds for our organization. It’s improved the way we raise funds and how we target our donations to support that event; the returns and the leverage that Run For It donors and sponsors make possible for all of us. It was a big shot in the arm for our organization.
I just want to use it as a tool to leverage additional funds. Going back to what Chris said, the equipment that we use in adaptive sports is so specialized and so expensive and you need so much of it that it can be hard to justify that expense. [Run For It] helps us as an organization to focus – that this is a great event and we can really use this to our advantage to help everybody. The world of fundraising is pretty crazy. You don’t want to go run off helter-skelter in different directions. If you find a good horse you ride it – or run it!