I’m so excited to tell you about our three Team Orphans Virtual Ironman teams! What a fun way to raise money for adoption and get a lot of people exercising! With three teams and 82 members, we’ll be exercising many thousands of miles! Meet the three team leaders today. For the next few months, I’ll be introducing you to all of our team members from around the country. We have a wide variety of people (and one dog) – ages from 8 to 70, and athletes of all different kinds- runners, bikers, swimmers, walkers, dog walkers, ice skaters, and roller bladers.
Team 1 is headed by Denny Gillen. Denny is 61 years old and is training for his 3rd Ironman race, Ironman Boulder, on August 3. Denny has already raised over $18,000 for Team Orphans. He is a sales rep for Hewlett Packard and is responsible for HP becoming a business sponsor and for our Team Orphans clothing. (By the way, our Team Orphans clothes- tri shirt, tri shorts, biking jerseys, and running shirts- are also fundraisers. For every purchase, 25% is donated back to our adoption grants.) Denny is the proud father of 3 sons and the grandfather of 11. His beautiful wife, Stella, has lovingly and patiently endured Denny’s biking accidents lately. Thanks to all of our prayers, Denny is healthy and training well!
Team 2 is headed by Brian Helsel. Brian is our young ( 24 yrs old) and fast Ironman! Brian just finished his Master’s of Science degree in exercise and sports medicine with a focus in exercise physiology from Western Michigan University. Last week he moved from the Grand Rapids area down to South Carolina to work as the Healthy Living Director for the Spartanburg YMCA. Other future plans are to race Ironman Louisville on August 24, fundraise for Team Orphans, and promote endurance sports and a healthier lifestyle to the community.
Team 3 is headed by me-your crazy Team Orphans leader. My next Ironman is November 1 in Panama City, Florida. In addition to directing Team Orphans, I’m also a wife, mother of three teenagers and two spoiled cats, church pianist, cookie baker, and flower gardener. Interesting fact about me? Eight years ago I had never run or ridden a road bike. All I ever wanted to be was a music teacher…..
So we have three Virtual Ironman teams going on now! Denny’s Team has 19 members and started in March. They have already traveled 4, 751 miles. Brian’s team has 7 members and they just started a few weeks ago. They already have 422 miles of exercise. My team, now at 56 members, starts today.
I’ll be blogging every week about three of our team members. Enjoy reading about each other. Thank you for supporting Team Orphans and adoption. ……because every child deserves a forever family……