RICHMOND, VA – (Friday, August 5, 2022) – Sportable, Central Virginia’s premier accessible sports club, has proudly raised $116,110, surpassing the initial $100,000 fundraising goal set by volunteer Dan Schmitt’s “Kon-Tiki Challenge.” Schmitt named Sportable the beneficiary of his 4,800-mile unsupported bikepacking trek from Anacortes, WA to Boston, MA. All funds will directly benefit Sportable’s mission to make sports accessible and inclusive in Central Virginia.
“We are blown away by the generous support of our community who rallied together to help us reach an unbelievable fundraising goal,” commented Hunter Leemon, Executive Director. “Thanks to numerous individual donations, we were able to unlock the $10,000 matching challenge issued by Commonwealth Payroll and signed on HHHunt as a presenting sponsor to get us over the finish line. Opportunities will be created and lives will be transformed thanks to this incredible accomplishment.”
Schmitt will be the keynote speaker at a reception in his honor on Thursday, October 6 at the Virginia War Memorial. His former employer of 30 years, HHHunt, will be the presenting sponsor for the event, joining supporting sponsors CraftMaster Homes, LeGault Homes, Timmons Group, and LifeStyle Home Builders. Invited guests, donors, and supporters of the Kon-Tiki Challenge will hear his presentation, “The Kon-Tiki Dream: Impressions from 4,800 Miles Across America” which will focus on setting and achieving big goals and perseverance.
Inspired by the true story, Kon-Tiki, which documents the journey of six men who sailed 4,300 miles from Peru on a balsa log raft across the Pacific to the Polynesian islands, Schmitt’s cross-country trek was similar in time and distance. His ride commenced on May 21 in Anacortes, Washington. He has since traveled over 4,800 miles through 12 states and Canada before arriving in Boston, Massachusetts on August 1.
“I feel so lucky and grateful to have had such an incredible journey across the country on my bike,” said Schmitt. “The places and landscapes I have seen were amazing, but it was the goodness and kindness of people along the way that made the deepest impression on me. And for so many, to support Sportable and adaptive athletes in Richmond and surpassing our huge goal makes it that much more fulfilling.”
Leemon continued, “Our Sportable athletes are capable of achieving amazing things when given the opportunity. Sportable takes away the physical barriers by providing adaptive equipment, trained coaches and staff, and accessible facilities. This Kon-Tiki Challenge has provoked us all to think beyond our perceived limits and dream about what is possible.”
Over 70 individuals accepted Schmitt’s Kon-Tiki Challenge this summer. Participants were encouraged to log virtual miles equivalent to portions of Schmitt’s journey, or to take on the entire distance. Leading the way are Richmond Area Bicycling Association (RABA) and the Sportable adaptive competitive cycling team who are competing against each other to cumulatively reach 4,500 miles. Dozens of others will complete the Kon-Tiki 2-Miler presented by Commonwealth Payroll on Wednesday, August 10 to conclude the challenge.
For sponsorship information or to make a donation, visit Sportable.org/Donate or contact Cindy Schmitt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for the Kon-Tiki 2-Miler here: https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/Richmond/kontikichallenge. Follow Schmitt’s journey on Instagram @KonTikiC2C.
For more than 15 years, Sportable has created opportunities and transformed lives through sport for individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments. The non-profit organization provides sporting opportunities to more than 400 athletes of all ages by offering competitive and recreational adaptive sports programs year-round. By fostering a fun, inclusive, competitive, and accessible environment, Sportable transforms the lives of athletes and frees them to see beyond their disabilities, enhances their peer relationships and helps them to reach their personal finish line. To make an impact today, visit Sportable.com/donate.