Reimare is an amazing kid with an amazing family who lives in California but have attended our Playhouse when visiting family and also participanted in our virtual literacy tutoring!
Erin, Reimare’s mom, came up with a really creative way to celebrate Down Syndrome Acceptance Month, showcase how determined Reimare is, and support multiple organizations that have provided support and programming to Reimare. We are so grateful that GiGi’s Playhouse was part of their list!
GiGi’s Playhous is a network of Playhouses so it is easy for families to participate with whichever Playhouse is most convenient for them. His family included both GiGi’s Playhouse Madison and our friends at GiGi’s Playhouse Sacremento!
You can see the full list of organizations they gave people the choice to support here: Reimare’s TRYathlon
We asked Erin how she came up with this idea and she shared:
” The whole thing came about piece-meal, starting with the fact that I am so appreciative of the many organizations that have provided support and programming to Reimare. We typically participate in the annual Step-up walk or Buddy walk sponsored by the local Down syndrome groups we have lived near, and we’ve fundraised leading up to those events. However, it isn’t just the local Down syndrome group that has been offering programming/services that we were utilizing, especially lately. It didn’t feel right to not put at least some effort into fundraising for the different organizations from which we have benefitted. I don’t like to bombard people with donation requests so I really wanted to put together something that I could send out once, that informed people of the different organizations that they could support if they were inclined to do so.
As I was considering my options, I saw a social media post about a Triathlon, and it sparked the idea that I would pair my request for donations with an event where Reiamre does something. Since Reimare is a good swimmer, loves to take off running and has his tryke, he could do a modified triathlon (a try-athlon).
Although we have always participated in the Down syndrome awareness walks, I’ve always been frustrated by a couple things that were the case with both of the ones we have participated in:
1.) They are held in isolation, removed from the general public so nobody who isn’t already aware of the event is gaining any awareness about the event or Down syndrome
2.) The walk portion is so incredibly short and thus does not provide a real opportunity to showcase ability or feel accomplished.
So in addition to sending a message that Reimare can do stuff to “earn” a donation, I also felt that doing the Try-athlon would give me the opportunity to celebrate Down syndrome Awareness month by both raising awareness and showcasing ability/accomplishment.
We are fortunate to live in an area where there are lots of bike trails that are used all the time providing both a safe, but also public area where Reimare could do his biking and running.
As the first of what I hope to make an annual event, we got our feet wet and I expect that we will continue to be able to raise awareness about Down syndrome through this event and provide opportunities for both Reimare and his peers to feel accomplished and a part of a community.”
On the days of his TRYathlon events Reimare blew everyone away by continuously reaching his BEST OF ALL!!
He biked 2.7 mile loop in 40 minutes- which was a BEST OF ALL becuase it was the furthest he had biked on his tryke! He was joined by classmates, teachers, neighbors and family.
He swam 15 consecutive lengths in the pool, which was his personal best and BEST OF ALL !
Reimare covered a little over 2 miles in 50 minutes of running/jogging/walking and a few breaks.
We let him determine his own route for the running and he did a great job staying active for a long time (despite the heat) and running for the entire home stretch (1/4 mile) = BEST OF ALL!