IRONMAN Partners With Smile Train

New York, NY — IRONMAN and Smile Train’s team of 75 athletes will race to give new life and new smiles back to more than 1,500 children around the globe. Yet, as great as this endeavor has become, it started out with a humble phone call from one man who had the drive and dedication fit for an IRONMAN athlete and the love and dedication for Smile Train in his heart.

Jeremy Hough is a Major in the United States Air Force. He has devoted his life to his country and is soon to deploy overseas to Afghanistan. Inspired by a friend, Jeremy and his four buddies Andrew Sheehan, David Taylor, along with Matt and Mistie Cottrill, decided to take the challenge to compete in their first IRONMAN event. Six years ago, Jeremy’s daughter was born with a cleft lip and palate. Thankfully, her cleft was corrected within the first few months of her life and she never suffered from ridicule, shame or isolation as many children so often do. As a thank you for the fast and excellent medical care his daughter received, Jeremy dedicated himself to raising money and awareness for the charity that helps those less fortunate than his daughter, Smile Train. And what better way, he thought, than to race for Smile Train in an IRONMAN triathlon.

Jeremy contacted IRONMAN directly in hopes of securing additional slots for himself and the rest of his team. Although IRONMAN could not accommodate the team directly, the organization was still working with several charities to fill charity slots. Jeremy immediately thought that if Smile Train was not one of those charities, it definitely should be; he was sure it had the potential to be a powerful alliance. He reached out to Smile Train, for whom he raised nearly $6,000 in the past two years by competing in various events and suggested that they throw their hat into the ring. Nicole Federico, Special Fundraiser Associate of Smile Train, jumped on the opportunity and secured five slots for Jeremy’s team to compete in the 2013 IRONMAN Lake Placid event. Recognizing the potential, she proposed Smile Train raise the ante even higher and, within a few days, a formal partnership was formed naming Smile Train as the official charity partner of the IRONMAN Arizona event in 2013. The race is scheduled for Sunday, November 17, 2013, with a team of 75 athletes competing on behalf of Smile Train.

You can read more about Jeremy and how this amazing opportunity came about on the official IRONMAN Smile Train Partnership Press Release.