The Bowman Lions continued a successful summer of events with their fifth annual Strides Splash and Dash Mini Triathlon. 22 brave individuals rose to the challenge and ran 3.1 miles at the Bowman Sweetwater Golf Course, biked 3.7 north to the Rouzie Rec Center Pool, and concluded the race with 10 lap swim.
By Frank Turner
Bowman Lions member Chuck Whitney explained that the mini triathlon event was only possible with the help of the Bowman community.
“These events do not happen in a vacuum, and our success is often made greater by those who contribute their time and resources,” said Whitney. “The generosity of these local businesses and individuals really makes a difference as we move forward living up to the Lion’s Motto ‘We Serve.’”
The mini triathlon aligns with the Lions Club’s goals in more ways than just a community-building event. According to Whitney, advocating for the blind has been a historic goal of the Lion’s Club for years.
“Back in 1925, Hellen Keller challenged the Lions to become knights for the blind,” said Whitney. “As a result of that challenge, the Lions began to actively work towards helping the blind.”
So what does a mini triathlon have to do with blindness?
Whitney explained, “In the western world, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness. Prevention of blindness is very much tied into exercise.”
Having a successful event and being able to provide a healthy opportunity was dependent on the supporting businesses, he said.
“The Mini-Triathlon was supported by our financial institutions, Dakota Western Bank, Dakota Community Bank, Dakota West Credit Union, and Wells Fargo. Southwest HealthCare Service also contributes, and CEO Lion Jerry Weisner was one of our key people, timing the run,” said Whitney. “Bronson’s Marketplace furnished the light breakfast after the run. The generosity of these local businesses and individuals really make a difference as we move forward living up to the Lion’s Motto ‘We Serve.’”
This year, Vice President Deb Patterson presented Heidi Fischer the award for first place overall and Chad Njos second place overall.
The mini triathlon fit right in with a summer full of Lion’s events. Whitney said that, despite rescheduling, the Pancake and Sausage earlier in the month at the Summer Fest celebration was still a success.
“Even though the event came together in a short time, we managed to serve over a hundred people and raised over $1200,” he said.
Looking forward, Whitney said that he is looking forward to the Lion’s final summer event, a community blood drive, in late August.
“The final event of the summer will be the Community Blood Drive on August 27. This will be the third year that we have coordinated this event with the Bowman Ambulance Squad and it will be held at their new facility at the junction of US 12 and US 85,” he said. “The Bowman Lions also sponsor similar events in December at the City Hall and in April done in conjunction with the Bowman County Honor Society in the Willard Solberg Gym.”