“Always remember who you are and what you represent.”
These are the words that will be echoing through Dallas, Texas resident Nick Donato’s head as he summits Mt. Reba during the inaugural Endeavor Team Challenge this September. Growing up in Iowa, Nick’s Aunt, Lori Dowie-Reeser, frequently spoke these words to him, but this year they carry a special meaning.
This past spring, in the span of just two months, Nick lost his Grandfather, Anthony “Tut” Donato, to Alzheimer’s Disease and his Aunt Lori to cancer. “It was an eye-opener,” said Nick, “You have to take full advantage of being alive.” Around the same time, Nick learned about the Endeavor Team Challenge through his CrossFit box, CrossFit Dallas Central.
Lori was an avid outdoor enthusiast, and Tut enjoyed long walks and bird watching. Inspired to honor their memories, Nick decided that he would compete in the Endeavor Team Challenge. He commented, “If you see an opportunity like the Endeavor Team Challenge where you can go out and experience the world we live in, you have to open up and do that.”
Like many competitors, Nick was immediately excited about the event when he visited the website and read the description. However, at the time he did not have the resources necessary to make the trip to California. Rather than giving up, Nick decided that he would be innovative in his approach to scraping together the entry fee and plane ticket.
A recent graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, Nick saw a few of his friends use www.gofundme.com to solicit donations for their post-graduation trip to see the world. “It gave me the idea that if people are willing to donate a few dollars to send someone on a nice graduation trip, they would probably donate for a challenge like this.”
After just one month of collecting money, Nick has received 19 donations totaling more than $900. Nick and his partner, Audra Lebeau, registered for the Endeavor Team Challenge last week under the team name “Powered by Bacon.” Nick recommends gofundme to other potential competitors as a way to defray the cost of travel, lodging, and registration. Once his trip is fully funded, Nick plans to donate any excess funds to Iowa-based Cancer and Alzheimer’s research non-profits.
Check out Nick’s donation page at: http://www.gofundme.com/Nickendeavorchallenge