Diamond Lake Triathlon donates $5,000 to Central Cass Fire Department

Published 12:04 pm Monday, August 14, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — The triumphant return of the Diamond Lake Triathlon July 21 did more than provide an avenue for participants to return to Cassopolis to compete. It also provided a pair of donations that will help out the Central Cass Fire Department and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

After being canceled in 2022, organizers of the triathlon regrouped and brought the event back to its prominence as more than 160 participants registered to compete.

Thanks to the triathletes and the sponsors, the Diamond Lake Triathlon was able to donate $5,000 to the Central Cass Fire Departments and $2.500 to the Challenge Athletes Foundation.

The Central Cass Fire Department will use its donation to purchase a boat that it can use for both water an ice rescues.

“Fundraising is one of the most critical part of our event,” said Director Joe Fazzini of Diamond Lake Sports. “Once again, 100 percent of the profits has been donated. Fundraising generally starts before the end of the year for the next year’s event, due to charitable budgets as set at that time. Our fundraising is extremely grassroots with donations as small as $25 and as large as $1000.”

Central Cass Fire Department Chief Jeff Locke knew exactly what his department needed when Fazzini approached him with the idea of making a donation.

“He approached us last fall,” Locke said. “We had been looking at purchasing a new flat-bottom boat for rescues. We are so close to the [Cass County] Sherrif’s Office that on a water rescue they are going to be there before us most of the time, but there will be times when they are not around.”

When Fazzini told Locke about the amount, he was “shocked,” he said. “It was more than double what he originally thought they would raise.”

The money donated to the Challenged Athletes Foundation will help them continue their work of integrating sports with physically challenged athletes.

The 2024 Diamond Lake Triathlon is scheduled for July 20, 2024, and will be hosted once again by the Diamond Lake Marina. The 2024 donation will be given to CASA of Cass County.

Court Appointed Special Advocate is made up of volunteers who are appointed by the Family Court judge to provide factual, independent and objective information regarding the status of children involved in child protective proceedings.

Members of CASA were volunteers at the 2023 Diamond Lake Triathlon.