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Westborough Connects to Create a Caring Community

Tax deductible

My name is Stephanie Garrett, and I am asking for your help to make our Westborough community stronger than ever. In April, I will compete in an Ironman Triathlon endurance event with the hope that each and every stroke, pedal, and step I take inspires you to donate to Westborough Connects. Westborough Connects is a local organization whose mission is to provide resources, events, and experiences that connect all Westborough residents through kindness and inclusion.

I owe a great deal to this wonderful town. I was hired in 2001 and I have taught in the Mill Pond School for 22 years! Throughout the years, the connections I have fostered in Westborough have shaped my adult life and softened the trauma I experienced growing up with a mother who struggled with mental health. I always think if I had grown up in a town like Westborough with an organization like Westborough Connects, I would not have felt so isolated and alone while my mother was battling mental illness. Her mental illness not only destroyed my mother but had deep and destructive impacts on me and my five siblings. My mother disconnected from the world, her family, and her friends. She passed a year ago without strong connections-- isolated and alone.

This April, I will compete in Ironman Texas in honor of Westborough Connects, as I know that this wonderful grassroots organization is already changing lives! Therefore, I am asking you to sponsor me while I attempt my 9th full Ironman in Texas on April 22nd. All proceeds will go directly to Westborough Connects. This endurance race consists of a 2.4-mile open water swim with nearly 3,000 other swimmers, followed by a 112-mile bike on the sun-drenched and wind-swept Houston highway, and finally, a 26.2 marathon.

My father and grandfather introduced me to running when I was 12. My father saw running as a way for our family to heal from our chaotic and traumatic life with our mother. In our small town, there were no community resources for my father to turn to for help, so exercise and nature and lots of love started the healing process for me. Fast forward to age 59 and several ironman events later, as well as 22 years of teaching in a district that I love, and I see how my life has had a very different trajectory than my mother’s and I believe it is because of the kind, compassionate, and empathetic colleagues, friends, community members, and students I have been lucky enough to have crossed my life path with. Connections matter!

I am no stranger to failure… competing in an ironman takes nearly a year of training and there is no guarantee that I will finish or make the time cutoffs for the swim, bike, or run. In last year’s Ironman Mont Tremblant, I lost 20 minutes hiding in a port-o-potty with other competitors because a microburst hit just as I was ascending one of the steepest climbs of the day. In Ironman Ireland, the cold sideways rain pelted me and triggered my Reynauds so bad that I could not feel my hands or feet… only 10 miles into the bike, I crashed into a telephone pole and had to be taken away by ambulance to the medical tent where I was served tea and cake and was stitched up by a handsome Irish doctor. In Ironman Maryland, I was only 6 miles from finishing, but I pulled out because I was not able to eat or drink for most of the second half of the race and the jellyfish stings on my feet, hands and legs made me too nauseous to take in nutrition on the bike leg of the race. I successfully finished Ironman Mont Tremblant (3X) Wisconsin 2017, and Ironman Maryland 2018. Training gets you to the starting line, but there are variables like storms, heat, mechanical failure, and injuries that without a purpose and a positive mindset, will most definitely end the day prematurely. Knowing that I am competing to raise funds for Westborough Connects will give me purpose and fuel my mindset for that day.

Life is all about the ripple effects. We lean on others through difficult times; we seek out resources; we gain strength when we know we are not alone; we feel hope when we know we are heard; we need connections in our communities now more than ever. In fact, as our world seems to be more polarized and fragmented, I draw upon Mr. Roger’s famous quote, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” In our Westborough community, there are helpers who need our help. Westborough Connects is a community connector, connecting people of opposing views, religions, genders, ages, demographics, and much more to give us all hope… They are the helpers Mr. Rogers so eloquently referred to.

I want to compete in Ironman Texas knowing each and every stroke, pedal, and step I take is for an organization that has touched so many lives. Your donation will go to strengthening the Westborough Community and with your donation, you will fuel me for 140.6 miles from the wee hours of my first swim stroke into the murky waters of the Woodlands canal with 3,000 other competitors, to the long, lonely bike portion on the Hardy Toll Road Highway; to the evening crowds lining the marathon course and finally, to the finish line. Your donation to Westborough Connects will fuel positive ripple effects throughout Westborough and fuel me.


  • Stephanie Garrett
    • $75 (Offline)
    • 1 yr
  • Deborah Fries
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Adam Last
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Caitlin Boissonneault
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Denise Whitehall
    • $25 
    • 1 yr


stephanie Garrett
Westborough, MA
Westborough Connects Inc.
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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