Who: Paul and Elena Krause
What: 2013 Wisconsin Ironman
When: September 8, 2013
Where: Madison, WI
Why: Because Everyone Deserves a Chance at an Education
How: Sponsor Paul in completing his first ever Ironman Triathlon (2.4 miles swim, 112 miles ride, and 26.2 miles run)
100% of all proceeds raised will go to benefit the Sushila Kids Scholarship Fund
A Lesson In Sharing
In 2011, Elena and I took a life-changing trip to Nepal, spending most of our time there with the kids at the Sushila Care and Service Center, an orphanage in Kathmandu. What follows is the most impactful experience from a memorable trip and one of the major reasons why we are doing what we are:
Elena and I were out running errands one day with two of the kids from Sushila, Bikash and Sharan (they are wearing blue and yellow shirts, respectively, in the dancing picture). I suggested to Elena that we get the kids a snack. I mostly did this because I wanted one. Secondarily, I thought Bikash and Sharan might like a treat which would give them bragging rights over their "brothers and sisters" and make "˜em a little jealous - just like Elena and I would do with our own siblings.
With limited choices the boys opted for "fun-sized" bags of knock-off Cheetos. Elena and I grabbed two more bags. When in Rome, I guess . . .
As we gathered our things to hurry back, a sequence of events occurred that I remember clearly to this day: I paid for 4 bags of "Cheetos;" I threw Bikash and Sharan their bags; Elena and I tore open our bags and stuffed half of them in our respective mouths; mouth full, I told the boys to eat quickly so that we could finish before we got back to the house; the boys looked at me like I had three heads.
The concept, apparently being so foreign to me, took several seconds to compute. As I realized it, they said it: "We want to share with our brothers and sisters." Ouch. My next thought was how to get the half-chewed "Cheetos" out of my mouth and back in the bag so that I could share too. Immediately after that, while feeling like the worst person ever, I realized how miniature bag Cheeto math worked -- 6 puffs per bag, 2 bags, and 13 kids to share between. This meant that the boys would get, at most, one "Cheeto" to themselves . . . and they still wanted to share. That day Elena and I learned a lesson in sharing that we have tried to take to heart.
Collectively, Elena and I have spent 43 years in school. Obviously, education is important to us and we are so grateful that we have parents that were willing and able to support us financially through most of those years in school. Their support has opened a world of opportunity for us. Unfortunately, the Sushila kids - Bikash, Sharan, Aayaz, Subista, Gungun, Samjhana, Laxmi, Shova, Deepak, Govinda, Rajendra, Kumar, and Shakti - aren't so lucky.
Remembering that lesson in sharing, when we returned from Nepal we started depositing money little by little into a fund to help support the Sushila kids with college. At this point we have a respectable foundation to help them get at least a little of the support that we received from our parents.
A Lesson In Giving
That brings us to today. Many, many people train to complete challenges while raising money for worthwhile causes. Perhaps because I enjoy the challenges more than most, I never felt like anything I did was a personal sacrifice that justified raising money. My tipping point : the 2013 Wisconsin Ironman.
My training is hitting full swing and it : is : no : joke! It requires some very early mornings, logging hundreds of miles, and many lost weekends -- and Elena's patience as I increasingly become an absentee husband. Between now and September 8, 2013, we will be working together to complete this challenge while raising money for the Sushila Scholarship Fund. Barring injury, on September 8th, I will be swimming, biking, and running a total of 140.6 miles. Consequently, we are setting a goal of raising at least $1,406 to add to the scholarship fund. If you would like to help us reach that goal, please click on the "Donate" button and walk through the steps.
A few side notes:
- This is a personal mission to help the Sushila kids and we want to ensure that the money goes directly to them. For that reason, we have not formalized the effort into a tax-deductible 501(c)(3), which would significantly increase overhead costs and potentially create other issues inconsistent with our mission.
- 100% of your gift will be going directly to the kids' educations "“ Elena and I are covering all overhead and administrative costs.
-If you want to share something that will do more good than fake Cheetos, and help us meet this goal, we would be eternally grateful. Also, if you know anyone that would be interested in helping, please forward this along. The more the merrier.
Thanks so much and all our best,
Paul and Elena
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