Triathlon tests mettle and raises funds

| 02 Aug 2017 | 01:51

By Leslie Sullivan
— On Saturday July 30, Pass It Along hosted its 8th annual Triathlon. Pass It Along volunteers woke in the early morning hours to prepare for the biking, swimming, running and cheering that would take place at the Lake Mohawk Boardwalk.
“It wouldn’t happen without everybody’s participation and support. It takes so many volunteers to pull this off. The amount of work just getting to that day is unbelievable. People don’t even know the energy of who is in the background working with our team to make it happen,” Diane Taylor, president and CEO of Pass It Along, said.
The event had a close out of 350 entries. An entry is a single participant or a 2 or 3 person relay team. Pass It Along recorded a total of 398 event participants that made up the 350 entries. First place for the Relay Sprint was Bobby Galante from Manhattan, New York. Athletes came from all over New Jersey and some from New York to participate. For many it was not only a race but also a celebration of milestones in their lives.
“Some of the most beautiful parts of this, I think, are the stories that come out of it," Taylor said. "People that have battled cancer and won and are thriving and this was something they decided to do and embraced life. There were birthday celebrations, and anniversaries, and just so many beautiful stories from people who I didn’t even know but they used this to celebrate and thrive.”
Pass It Along is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Sparta. Pass It Along's mission is to build confident, resilient, compassionate teenagers through self-discovery, volunteer and leadership opportunities. By participating in the Pass It Along program, teenagers gain a strong sense of self, learn about the positive effects of helping others and are equipped to avoid risky behaviors.
Proceeds will go towards Pass It Along in the hopes to bring a Pass It Along Club to all schools in Sussex County.
“Even though we have teens volunteering on their own time for events some schools still don’t have clubs. So our goal is to have a club, not just a relationship, in all of the schools Sussex County. The money from the triathlon will help get that organized,” Taylor said.
Sponsors for the event included Newton Medical Center and Atlantic Sports Health, Lake Mohawk Country Club, Lakeland Bank, The Orthopedic Institute of NJ, Thorlabs and Brazill Brothers and Assoc.
“All the generosity and support we get is the only reason this is so event is so successful,” Taylor said.