New York, NY (PRWEB) June 26, 2014
Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes, a group of eight elite amateur and former professional athletes, finished the 3,000 mile, coast-to-coast Race Across America on Friday, June 20th - taking just five days and twenty hours to cross the finish line in Annapolis, MD. The team came in first place in the eight person team division and raised over $580,000 for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund in the process.
With an original fundraising goal of $250,000, the team raised the bar twice to maximize their impact for the fund and covered the total cost of the race independently, so that every dollar raised would go to their cause. The team’s efforts will help the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund to build a set of nine advanced medical diagnostic and treatment centers to help wounded military heroes returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).
Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes was led by Winston Fisher, Partner with the Fisher Brothers real estate firm in New York, and Evan “Chip” Marks, Co-Founder of Sungate Asset Management LLC, a family office in New York specializing in real estate investment. Teammate Jimmy Riccitello, helped managed the team’s logistics throughout the cross country endeavor and is the Technical Director for Ironman and a two-time XTERRA World Champion. Other members of the team include Brian Collins, Head of Development for Fisher Brothers; Hal Goldstein, Founder of NY based architecture firm Janson Goldstein; Scott Cohen, Acquisitions and Development at Fisher Brothers; Stefan Kusurelis, Senior Project Architect for Janson Goldstein; and Dr. Robert DeStefano, one of NY’s leading sports chiropractors and ART practitioners.
“We’re all exhausted after the race and aching all over but it was all worth it”, said Winston Fisher. “Whatever we’re going through now, we know that huge numbers of outstanding men and women have been through more in the service of our country. We’re just grateful for the opportunity to be of some help to those returning heroes who need it.”
Dave Winters, President of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, said, “All the team members have done an absolutely incredible job in the last week and we’re very proud of what they’ve achieved. Not only did they raise so much money – they actually came in first place. Many more wounded heroes will get the help they need because of the money these guys have raised throughout their training and this week during the race”
The team’s efforts are helping to create nine new Intrepid Spirit Centers, which will operate as satellite centers of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), opened in 2010 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. All the centers will be located at military installations and bases near medical facilities around the country. These convenient locations will allow service members to receive TBI and PTS medical services without leaving their units or leave their families for extended periods of treatment. This proximity to family and friends is expected to enhance service members’ care and rehabilitation.
The first two Intrepid Spirit Centers were opened last year at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Together they have already treated over 1,000 service members, since opening their doors in July and August respectively. The third and fourth centers are currently under construction in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and Fort Bragg, North Carolina and are expected to be operational within the next year. A formal ground breaking was held just two weeks ago for the fifth Intrepid Spirit Center, in Fort Hood, Texas.
Each of the NICoE Satellite Centers is 25,000 sq. ft., and costs approximately $11 million to construct and equip with the latest in brain technology and devices. Each Intrepid Spirit Center is gifted to the Department of Defense upon its completion.
To date, the teams competing in Race Across America have raised over $4 million for charities of their choosing. The race began on June 14th in Oceanside, CA. and is considered to be the world’s harshest endurance athletic event. The route touched 12 states, 88 counties and climbed over 170,000 vertical feet.
The team’s fundraising page will remain open for the near future.
About the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a national leader in supporting the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families, has provided over $150 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans. The Fund most recently opened the National Intrepid Center of Excellence to support the research, diagnosis, and treatment of military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI). In 2013, the Fund launched a new $100 million campaign to build nine NICoE satellite centers at major military installations and bases around the country. These satellite centers will extend the care provided at NICoE to more service members and veterans suffering TBI, PTS and related afflictions.
About Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma or head injury disrupts the function of the brain. Common causes of TBI include damage caused by explosive devices, falls and vehicle or motorcycle accidents. Most reported TBI among Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom service members and veterans have been traced back to Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs, used extensively against Coalition Forces. Symptoms can appear immediately or in the weeks and months following the injury.