We here at the NDJ Foundation hope that, by now, you have all heard the great news about Andy Buchta and the Florida Ironman race to benefit the NDJ Foundation and Camp Coley. With his incredible finishing times for each event (swimming, biking and running) we think he finished in the top 5%! Please take a moment to read Andy’s thoughts shortly after finishing the race:
"Quick email from Panama City Florida, and yes I am sending at o’dark hundred due to some tired achy legs and having not come down from a bit of adrenaline from the race day yesterday!
As you know, I competed in and finished Ironman Florida yesterday racing for the Nicole Daune Jackson foundation Camp Coley program via the Ironman Foundation ‘Your Race, Your Cause’ fundraising program..
Funds raised as of this weekend exceed $3500, how cool is that? AND more dollars to come in soon from 1) the Rotary Club of Crystal Lake Dawnbreakers that is matching donations made from its club members and 2) those who took me up on my added challenge to add to their original donation $1 for every minute I was able to finish below 10 hours – and indeed I did! On one great day for racing out on the course that had a ‘near miss’ with the weather which on Friday was absolutely awful and may have cancelled the event, I was able to post a 9:21 finishing time to complete the 2.4 mile swim in a time of 1:05, the 112 fast and flat bike course in a time of 4:44 and the 26.2 mile run in a time of 3:23. A lot of time and commitment to this journey paid off and needless to say it was all worth it in the end. The crowd support was great down here, especially along the run course where I was happy to see my wife and a few other good friends of mine which besides just having a lot of things go well for me to prepare for this challenge helped a ton as the miles began to really hurt towards the end of the run! My motivation to do well for a great cause truly and candidly overcame a few rough patches along the way I assure you.
All the best to you all – thanks for allowing me to do this and glad it worked out in the end to help with all your efforts to make this cause succeed and grow in the future, Andy Buchta"
Not only did Andy meet his goal of raising $5000.00, he exceeded it! We don't have final numbers as of yet, but Andy is planning to do a presentation for the Camp Coley girls at the Pizza Party in January and he should have a check and the final numbers for us then.
We also would like to thank everyone at Dalzell Jewelers for having a collection jar specifically for Camp Coley at their store register. This jar collected $361.00, the Rotary Club of Crystal Lake Dawnbreakers and the Charity Fund Board have matched this donation amount with $361.00 for a total of $722.00!
But we’re not done yet! Please read the following e-mail that Ellen Jackson sent to the NDJ membership explaining how the Foundation was recently blessed with an extraordinary surprise.
“Wednesday morning after the Rotary meeting, Cliff came home and said "Boy, do I have a surprise for you". Cliff handed me an envelope and told me the story. I kept the envelope in tact and asked Andy to explain it at last night’s meeting, at which time Andy opened up the envelope.
The story goes like this: Andy's son, Zack, is in the 7th grade at Bernotas Middle School. Zack's social studies teacher, in class, talked about philanthropic opportunities. She wanted the class to pick an organization and raise money to help support that organization. Maggie Kelley, who is a Camp Coley participant, told her class that she had attended an awesome camp during the summer and she would like the NDJ Foundation to be their class project. When the teacher asked Zack's class if that would be okay for them, Zack told the class that he knows about the NDJ Foundation and that his dad was doing the Florida Ironman to support our Foundation. So all the social studies classes decided that we would be the recipient of their project.
Andy told this story last night, then opened the envelope, in it was a letter explaining how they wanted to contribute to his efforts through the Ironman. The teacher, Mrs. Strebel, and all of the 7th graders signed the letter (see the attachment). Andy then counted the money for a total of $199.70! April Carli then contributed $0.30 to make it an even $200.00. By the way, Andy did not know anything about this project until Zack asked his dad to give Mr. Jackson the envelope.
To all of you, a huge thank you, you each should be so proud of what you have done, and the lives you have touched. This is confirmation that we have accomplished what we set out to do in the very beginning - touch a young girl’s life!"