Category Archives: Sports

Andrew McConnell Serves Bridgeport Tennis

The list of top Fairfield County high school tennis teams is filled with places you’d expect: Staples. Greenwich. New Canaan.

It does not include Bridgeport’s Central High.

That’s a problem.

But Central tennis players are athletes. They don’t run from a challenge — they embrace it.

So does their coach.

Andrew McConnell

As area teams begin practice for the coming season. Andrew McConnell is eager to talk about his squad.

Coaching is his 3rd career. Teaching 9th grade social studies is his 2nd.

For 20 years, McConnell worked on Wall Street, for firms like Bear Stearns and Greenwich Capital. He moved to Westport in 1992, and has been here ever since.

In 2007 he decided to follow his dream — and do something his parents and 2 sisters already did: teach.

Earning certification through Sacred Heart University, the former financier requested an urban school. “It sounds trite,” he admits. “But I wanted to make the biggest impact I could.”

McConnell was worried that, as an older white man, he might not relate to city kids. A former Central principal who was one of his professors reassured him: “If you care, they know it.”

He interned at Central, and was hired there in 2010. After plowing through several principals, the school has flourished under Eric Graf. A former teacher and athletic director, he has boosted morale among staff and students.

But Bridgeport’s perpetual financial woes were exacerbated this year by the state’s. Recently, the superintendent of schools slashed $200,000 from the athletic budget. Gone were middle and high school programs in golf, lacrosse, fencing — and tennis.

That saved $2,600 stipends for Central’s boys and girls tennis coaches. Nevertheless, they swung into action to save their teams.

A collage of Central High School’s boys and girls tennis teams.

Stop & Shop donated Gatorade and bagels (home teams traditionally provide food for themselves and their opponents).

The Connecticut Alliance for Tennis and Education has pitched in with racquets.

One of the biggest costs is transportation. McDonnell — who is on the board of First Serve Bridgeport — got that after-school program to serve as a conduit for fundraising.

He had a bold idea: Buy a van. That would not only help with transportation fees (school buses are exorbitant to rent); it could also be used by First Serve throughout the year.

Last year’s Central High boys tennis team.

Tennis is an excellent vehicle for city youngsters, McConnell says. Despite its country club reputation, it’s relatively inexpensive. There are many courts in Bridgeport — including beautiful new ones at Central High.

It’s a lifelong sport. It teaches leadership and character. Because players call their own shots — there are no referees — it’s an exercise in sportsmanship.

That’s not just a cliche.

“The FCIAC (Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference) has 6 of the 8 best teams in the state. We’re not one of them,” McConnell explains.

“We don’t win a lot. But our kids love to participate. They have terrific attitudes. They try their best, work hard and have fun. Our competitors recognize that. We’ve won the league sportsmanship award several times.”

McConnell says that by interacting with players from other towns, his Central athletes form friendships they otherwise could not.

And sometimes the impact of tennis can be life-changing.

During his first 2 years at Central, Bashan Rosa had little focus. His grades were poor.

But he discovered tennis. To maintain academic eligibility, his grades rose — to honor roll level.

McConnell got him a summer job teaching the sport at the Cardinal Sheehan Center. Bashan also works for First Serve Bridgeport.

He can’t play for Central this spring. He’s a 5th-year senior, earning enough credits to graduate.

He’s still part of the squad, though. McConnell asked him to serve as an assistant coach.

On a team that — if McConnell’s fundraising efforts come through — serves as an FCIAC championship story. Even if they never win a match.

(To contribute to the Central High School tennis program via GoFundMe, click here.)

Charlie Capalbo’s Biggest Battle

Charlie Capalbo is not a Westporter. He’s a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.

But his ties to this town are long and deep. Everyone here knows his grandmother: writer/poet/storyteller Ina Chadwick. Her husband, Richard Epstein — Charlie’s grandfather — is a Westport native; his parents moved here in 1958.

Charlie’s mother, Jennifer Wilde Capalbo — Ina’s youngest daughter — is a Staples graduate. For many years, she worked at a Westport asset management company.

Charlie’s aunts are Nina Wilde and Becky Wilde Goldberg Jarit. Years ago — to support her former Staples boyfriend, who suffered from lymphoma — Becky began running in charity events. She completed her first New York Marathon this year, at 50.

Ina Chadwick’s daughters: Nina, Becky and Jennifer.

Charlie has led a pretty good life. This winter as a goalie, he helped the Fairfield co-op ice hockey team make history. For the first time ever, the Mustangs qualified for the FCIAC and state Division I tournaments.

But other parts of his life are not good at all.

A few years ago, his house burned down. And just a couple of weeks ago — after making 27 saves in Fairfield’s 5-2 state tournament loss to West Haven — Charlie was diagnosed with cancer.

Charlie Capalbo (Photo/Dave Gunn)

His tumor is located near his heart and lungs, and has spread to his lymph nodes. Doctors say right now, an operation is not possible.

Charlie has already had a 5-hour biopsy at Yale-New Haven. Many more procedures lie ahead. Chemo starts tomorrow.

The Fairfield community — led by his coach and teammates — have rallied around Charlie.

Charlie Capalbo’s teammates lend support, as he heads to the OR.

A GoFundMe page was created Sunday night. In just 3 days, it’s already brought in over $129,000.

And that’s without most of Westport knowing his story.

Now we do.

(Click here for Charlie Capalbo’s GoFundMe page.)

Sandra Long Is Totally LinkedIn

Sandra Long did not like my LinkedIn profile.

At first, I didn’t care.

In my social media life, the networking website ranked far below Instagram and Facebook (not to mention “06880”). It hovered just above Google Plus — but not by much.

Yet when Sandra — a longtime Westporter who offers LinkedIn training for businesses and individuals, as well as profile makeovers for executives, consultants, attorneys and other professionals — offered to spruce mine up, I said, “why not?”

Yet I was about as enthusiastic as when I had a root canal.

Sandra Long offers LinkedIn training to individuals and organizations.

Sandra Long offers LinkedIn training to individuals and organizations.

But then I met Sandra. And once she went to work — drilling down through my profile, into my life, work, passions and dreams — I was all in.

All LinkedIn, I should say.

I had been agnostic about LinkedIn’s potential. But Sandra is a true believer. “You’re missing lots of opportunities,” she said.

I considered myself a freelance writer. I didn’t see how LinkedIn could help. Yet Sandra had already stalked me — I mean, done her homework — and thought that tying together everything I do would help my overall “brand.”

“You write. You coach soccer. You’re an expert on Westport. You’re an LGBT activist and mentor,” she noted. A stronger LinkedIn presence — including keywords, which I sorely lacked — could help people find me, leading to paths I never expected.

And, she pointed out, my entire internet presence was a mess. My LinkedIn profile was not, um, linked to my Amazon author page (which, she added with a sympathetic smile, was pretty weak itself). My YouTube channel did not even showcase my speeches.

There was some good news. My name is unique enough that I could really capitalize on it. Sandra would have a fairly easy time finding my scattered web life, then tying it together.

My LinkedIn main page before Sandra Long got to work. Sure, it says 500+ connections. But I hadn't really "connected" with many of them in years.

My LinkedIn main page before Sandra Long got to work. Sure, it says 500+ connections. But I hadn’t really “connected” with many of them in years. Plus, my photo was from before LinkedIn was even born.

Quickly, we got to work.

Talking about myself was sort of like going to a therapist — without the anxiety.

Sandra is a master at asking the right questions, analyzing the answers, and organizing it all in a coherent, presentable fashion.

I am not (for example) an “independent writing professional.” That was my old headline. My new one is much more inclusive.

Turns out I’m a “community builder.” My writing, coaching, LGBT and Westport work — all of it develops community. Who knew?

Part of my new banner. Ta da!

Part of my new banner. Ta da!

I should note here that Sandra drew from me that 2 sidelines are teaching writing, and consulting on writing projects. Somehow I had forgotten to include that on LinkedIn. Oops!

Also, my photo sucked. Thanks to Sandra: not anymore!

On we plowed. She rewrote my (very important) personal summary; added “Experience” sections with new titles, descriptions and images, as well as more publications, organizations and awards; rejiggered my “Skills” section; gave me a way-cool background banner of Westport scenes; threw in my contact info and a customized URL — and linked to “06880.”

All that was just for LinkedIn. Soon, she worked similar magic on my Amazon and YouTube pages. For the latter, she discovered videos about me in cyberspace I never knew existed. Fortunately, they’re good ones.

My Amazon author page before Sandra Long went to work. Only 2 of my books were listed -- and I had no author bio.

My Amazon author page before Sandra Long went to work. Only 2 of my books were listed — and I had no author bio.

The process took just over a month. It was empowering. It was also painless. (At least for me. I was the duck you see on the surface. Underneath the water, Sandra paddled furiously.)

My new Amazon page. It has many more of the books I've written -- and every "06880" story appears as soon as it's posted. Crazy!

My new Amazon page. It has many more of the books I’ve written — and every “06880” story appears as soon as it’s posted. Crazy!

The results were impressive — and not just to look at.

Throughout the process, Sandra kept telling me that I underestimated the power of LinkedIn. I was missing opportunities, she preached (always, thankfully, with a smile).

The day after my fresh, comprehensive, tied-together profile went live, I got a “notification.” I clicked it. (Sorry, Sandra, but yeah — the first time I’ve ever done that).

A woman developing a new website about sports had searched for “soccer,” “writing” and “community building.” My name popped up.

She liked my “interesting bio,” and wondered if I’d be interested in working for her.

Instantly, I felt linked in.

(Sandra Long’s Post Road Consulting has offices in Westport and Stamford. Click here for more information. To learn more about Sandra’s book, “LinkedIn for Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide,” click here.)

Bonus feature: My new YouTube channel.

Bonus feature: My new YouTube channel.

 

Beth El Honors Joe And Irma Schachter

Joe Schachter served as last year’s Memorial Day parade grand marshal.

Before that, he helped found the Minuteman Yacht Club. As “the voice of boaters,” they pushed the town to improve the Longshore and Compo marinas. First Selectman John Kemish appointed him to the town’s 1st Boating Advisory Committee too.

Schachter also helped form the Norwalk Oyster Festival and Commuter Action Committee. As a member of the statewide Rail Advisory Task Force, he served 3 governors.

During World War II he took enemy fire on the Wilkes Barre cruiser in Tokyo Bay, and along the Manchurian border.

After the war he spent 30 years in advertising in Hartford and New York, on accounts like Ford and Eastman Kodak.

Joe Schachter

He then embarked on an entirely new 2nd career, introducing floating concrete docks to the Northeast — and as far as Greenland and Bermuda. For 20 years he worked on projects for the Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers. He’s most proud of his 400th installation: the one at Compo Beach.

Many years before all that, Schachter was a 13-year-old bar mitzvah boy at Congregation Beth El in Norwalk. After all his work and travels — including Alaska and Antarctica — when Joe and his wife Carol moved back to the area and settled in Westport, they joined that same synagogue.

She died in 1964, leaving 3 young boys — who themselves had their bar mitzvahs at Beth El.

Schachter remarried. He and his wife Irma brought the congregation into the 20th century, when Beth El first recognized women in the prayer quorum, and later on the pulpit.

The couple helped raised funds, and even did some of the physical work, during a major expansion of the East Avenue building in the 1980s.

Irma and Joe Schachter

In 2014 — 89 years young — Schachter created Beth El’s new marketing campaign and print presence. For weeks he climbed ladders, hung signs on the building, and worked on details small (font and color) and large (what each generation seeks in a Jewish community). Irma was always by his side.

The couple still attends almost every Friday night service. Always, the temple says, they have “a kind word, a thought of encouragement, and a generous smile. They are living legends, quietly and graciously waiting their turn for a cookie or a cup of grape juice.”

On Sunday, April 2 (5 p.m.) Congregation Beth El honors Joe and Irma Schachter at their spring gala. There will be music, dancing, food, laughter and reminiscing.

Most of all, their many friends and admirers say, “there will be a spirit of joy. And there will be community.”

(For more information on the gala honoring Joe and Irma Schachter, click here.)

Arrivederci, Vespa. Welcome, The ‘Port.

In its 2 1/2 years in Westport, Vespa earned the loyalty of many customers.

Unfortunately, they came almost entirely on Friday and Saturday nights.

Owner Bobby Werhane thought there was a demand for “a New York style, modern rustic restaurant” in that location.

There was. But attracting diners on more casual weekdays was tough. Though the 155 seats inside were filled — and in summer, the 60-seat patio was packed — the size of National Hall, plus the difficulty of scheduling employees for both peak and slow times, led to what Werhane admits was “inconsistency.”

“The Cottage and the Whelk are small enough to do well consistently,” he says. “They’ve got a small, constant staff, and a tight menu. Their expenses are manageable. It was a lot tougher for us.”

The Inn at National Hall. Vespa most recently occupied the ground floor.

One of the things he enjoyed most about  Vespa was establishing strong relationships with guests. One was Sal Augeri.

A 14-year Westporter with 2 kids, Augeri — a Wall Street guy — was thinking about the next phase of his life. He’d always been interested in restaurants; he was involved in his town, so …

… welcome to the new spot that’s taking Vespa’s place. It’s called …

… The ‘Port.

It aims to fill a niche that Augeri believew is lacking in Westport’s restaurant scene: an “approachable, authentic experience.” He calls it “a place to go after your kids’ practice, or for a quick bite with friends. But a place that also has a definite local flavor.”

The ‘Port — our town’s sometime nickname — hopes to convey a real Westport vibe. Vespa’s white walls and beautiful surfaces will remain; some banquettes and communal spaces will be added, and “Westport stuff” put on the walls. Soon, the owners hope, the iconic building will be filled with people, 7 days a week.

“Owners” is exactly the right word. Augeri’s company — SMA Hospitality — is the majority owner and operating partner. Twenty-three investors have joined the 10 original Vespa backers. That’s 33 families, all with young kids and town ties.

Local designers Alli DiVincenzo and Michele Cosentino teamed up with Westport architect Lucien Vita of the Vita Design Group to brand and design the interior of The ‘Port.

The restaurant will also hire Staples students as busboys. (The last place that did that may have been the Arrow.)

The ‘Port will be “family friendly.” Augeri says that means “simple, basic, good food that people want”: an excellent burger. The “Port Club” signature chicken sandwich. Fish, pastas, fresh salads, great wings.

Milk and fresh lemonade for children — drinks that are healthier than most restaurants’ sodas and juice boxes.

Dessert includes homemade brownies and Chipwiches. “I don’t need tiramisu,” Augeri laughs.

Chef Justin Kaplan last worked in Lake Tahoe. This will be the 7th restaurant he’s opened.

He looks forward to “rustic, home-style cooking done right. We’re designing this menu for our guests — not the chefs’ egos.”

Chef Justin Kaplan (left) and operating partner Sal Augeri. (Photo/Allyson Monson)

“Family friendly” means the owners hope The ‘Port will be the place that Staples Players and middle school actors go to celebrate after shows. What about the diner — the current favorite spot? “We’ll do special events for the cast,” Augeri promises.

He will also provide discounts for veterans, police officers and firefighters, along with special post-Back to School Night promotions. Augeri adds, “teachers will be glad we’re there. A lot of times they’re looking for a 4-to-6 p.m. spot.”

A couple of TVs will draw guests for big events, like the NCAA Final Four, US Open tennis or a Premier League championship. But — although he’s deeply involved in the Westport PAL, and he hopes teams will gather there after big wins — Augeri claims, “this is not a sports bar. It’s a restaurant with TVs.”

The projected opening date is a month from now. See you at The ‘Port.

Talking SMAK With Special Needs Kids

Parents of special needs children spend countless hours with educators and other professionals, crafting IEPs — Individualized Educational Plans.

But when school is out, a small group of kids and 2 very committed young teachers work together on another IEP. They call it an Individualized Exercise Plan.

And boy, is it fun!

Frankie D’Souza and Jenn Fittipaldi are the speech pathologists who founded SMAK (“Specialized Movement Active Kids”). And just as the acronym does not single out “special education,” the program offers this sometimes-isolated group of youngsters a chance to participate in an activity all kids love.

Jenn Fittipaldi and Frankie D'Souza, at Fitness Works.

Jenn Fittipaldi and Frankie D’Souza, at Fitness Works.

Frankie and Jenn have 3 classes, with 6 children each. One meets on Tuesday afternoons at Fitness Works, the gym underneath Granola Bar. Two others take place on Saturdays, at Crossfit in Norwalk.

The kids — many of them on the autism spectrum — do push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and box step-ups; use weights for squats and dead lifts; perform handstands and sprints; push sleds, and work with medicine balls and kettle bells.

They’re called “exercises.” But the group — ages 5 to 15 — love them.

“It’s so rewarding!” says Jenn, who notes that special education youngsters often have fewer opportunities than others for social and physical activities. SMAK provides both.

“They really get stimulated,” Frankie adds. “A lot of them have social anxiety, on top of other issues. But they socialize in the gym. They’re active, and so proud of themselves. Plus the release of endorphins make them feel really good.”

She notes with pride a boy who seldom showed emotion. Yet he grins broadly while exercising. “That’s the first time I ever saw him smile!” his sister said. Excitedly, she snapped a photo.

All kids -- like those in the file photo shown here -- enjoy the benefits of working out.

All kids — like those in the file photo shown here — enjoy the benefits of working out.

When they go back to school, Frankie says, they feel “a real sense of commonality” with their SMAK friends. Without realizing it, they’ve worked not only on fitness, but following multi-step oral directions, taking turns, initiating and maintaining conversations with peers, and vocabulary.

Merrily Bodell is the parent of 2 special needs youngsters. A member of the school district’s Special Education Parents PTA, she can’t say enough about what SMAK has meant for her kids.

“Frankie was my son’s speech pathologist at Greens Farms Elementary School,” Merrily says. “She’s so sweet and loving.”

Her son can’t participate in team sports, so the chance to be physically active in the gym, doing partner activities, has been fantastic. Her son feels engaged, and enjoys socializing.

Merrily tells the story of a boy who repeats words or phrases, hour after hour. When he’s with Frankie and Jenn in the gym, he never does.

Happily, everyone around — his new friends, his parents, and Frankie and Jenn – smile through the SMAK sessions too.

 

Parks & Rec Names New Golf Pro, Course Superintendent

With spring just a chip shot away, Westport Parks & Recreation Department has filled 2 big golf course holes.

Director Jen Fava announced today the appointment of Jon Janik as head professional, and Todd Salamone as Longshore golf course superintendent.

Janik played at Longshore as a member of the St. Joseph High School golf team.

Jon Janik

Born and raised in Bridgeport, he learned the game at Fairchild Wheeler. He won the 1997 junior club championship there, then 5 years later the men’s club title.

Janik began working in the golf industry while still at Fairfield University. He spent 3 summers at the Ivan Lendl Golf and Tennis Camp. After graduating, he became the assistant pro at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull. A year later, he was named head pro.

In 2007 Janik earned his professional golf management degree, and was elected to PGA membership.

He has won the Connecticut Section PGA Junior Golf Leader Award, and been recognized as a US Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teacher.

Janik also served as Trumbull High’s boys golf team head coach. In 2014 he was named FCIAC Boys Golf Coach of the Year.

Todd Salamone

Salamone has been with BrightView Golf Maintenance for 4 years, as senior assistant superintendent at New York’s Village Club of Sands Point. In 2015, he oversaw a bunker renovation there.

The Queens native majored in turf science at Ohio State University. After graduation he worked at private clubs on Long Island, and volunteered at pro events including the US Open and US Amateur.

Fava said, “We are very excited to welcome our new team to Longshore. We look forward to a great season, and lots of good things to come.

“We hope all of our golfers welcome them when the golf season gets underway.”

Information on course openings will be announced soon.

And The Winners Are…

Cooper Boardman and Jack Caldwell have made a career out of broadcasting Staples High School sports on WWPT-FM, and the Staples Television Network.

They’ve called plenty of big wins, and a few heartbreaking defeats.

Yesterday, the 2 student announcers got a few victories of their own.

Cooper and Jack — who serve as co-directors of sports — were finalists in an eye-popping 14 IBS National Broadcast Awards categories.

In a ceremony held at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania, they won 3: Best Play-by-Play Football (Jack and Cooper); Best Play-by-Play Basketball (Cooper); Best Use of YouTube (Cooper).

Cooper Boardman (left) and Jack Caldwell, with their 14 trophies.

Cooper Boardman (left) and Jack Caldwell, with their 14 trophies.

IBS stands for Intercollegiate Broadcasting System. It’s been around for 77 years. With the growth of high school radio — pioneered by, among others, Staples — the organization recognizes younger announcers too.

Cooper — a senior — will attend Syracuse University’s prestigious Newhouse School of Public Communications. Jack is just a junior. After one more year of calling Wrecker games, he’ll head off to college for broadcast journalism too.

Unlike last week’s Oscars, these awards won’t be taken back. But like many WWPT stars before them, Cooper Boardman and Jack Caldwell are already on the road to radio success.

Click here for an audio link to Cooper and Jack’s winning football broadcast. Click here for a link to Cooper’s You Tube channel. Below is one sample of his work.

(Hat tip: Jim Honeycutt)

YMCA Water Rats Mourn Bill Krumm

The Westport Weston Family YMCA — particularly its extended Water Rats family — was stunned to learn of the death of Bill Krumm.

The 61-year-old — who served as western zone sports development consultant for USA swimming, after retiring in 2007 after 27 years as Water Rats head coach — suffered a heart attack in San Diego on Friday night.

Tributes poured in from former swimmers and their parents. Many echoed the same words: “constant,” “kind,” “caring.” One woman said, “He created the kind of community you wanted your child to be in.”

Bob Knoebel — who hired him in 1980 — said, “Bill was incredibly organized and detail-oriented. We hosted some very complex events, with hundreds of swimmers. He was always there first, to make sure everything was in place to run a successful meet.”

bill-krumm

Bill Krumm

Knoebel gave Krumm his first Westport Y job, as coach of the 9-12-year-olds. But his talents were quickly apparent. Within 2 years, Knoebel made him head coach for the entire program. Many of his swimmers went on to set team, state and zone records.

On its website, the Y called Krumm “the anchor of our program.” It added:

Bill was an exacting coach with a stern façade, who got the best out of his swimmers.  Underneath that curmudgeon-like exterior, however, was a kind and gentle soul who had a great sense of humor and devoted his life to our team when he was its coach.

The Connecticut native graduated in 1977 from Southern Connecticut State University, where he was a nationally ranked swimmer and water polo player. He won the Robert B. Muir Award as New England’s top senior swimmer, and in 1995 was inducted into SCSU’s Sports Hall of Fame.

YMCA logoKrumm held many leadership positions as a volunteer in the swimming community. He was YMCA League President, a member of the USA Swimming Safety Education Committee, and was general chairman of Connecticut Swimming.

He relished his final consultant position with USA Swimming. From his home in Colorado Springs, he traveled throughout the west — including Alaska and Hawaii — advising swim clubs on best practices.

A celebration of his life is planned for this spring, in Westport.

Craig Adler: Marathoner With A Mission

Craig Adler was fast.

Very fast.

In his senior year of high school he helped his American School in Japan team win the 5K Far East Championship. They beat every military and international school in Asia.

But at the University of Rochester — burned out by running — Adler turned to crew.

Craig Adler

Craig Adler

After graduation, he worked for years on Wall Street. Last year he went back to school, and earned a degree in public policy from the University of Connecticut. Now he does development and fundraising for the non-profit Norwalk Housing Foundation.

As he got older, Adler missed running. Wearing a brace after knee surgery, he rediscovered his passion.

In 2014,  he ran his first marathon: the Lehigh Valley. He was 49 years old.

His time was so good, he qualified for the Boston Marathon. That’s quite an accomplishment.

Even more impressively, 6 days after Boston he ran the much hillier (and more beautiful) Big Sur Marathon, on the other side of the country.

“I was addicted to marathons,” he admits.

Craig Adler finishes his 1st Boston Marathon.

Craig Adler finishes his 1st Boston Marathon.

He also was addicted to raising money. At the Marine Corps Marathon, he raised funds for wounded warriors in Washington, DC. At the New York Marathon, his cause was Shoe4Africa.

(Adler’s son Scott — now a junior at Staples — got the fundraising bug too. After the Nepal earthquake, he and 2 Westport Y Water Rat teammates collected $45,000 in just 2 weeks.)

Recently, Adler’s sister, Julie Robinson — an occupational therapist who works with autistic children — mentioned the House of Possibilities respite facility in Massachusetts. Children with significant challenges go there to recharge — while their families get a break from the demands of being round-the-clock caregivers.

That’s the team Adler is running for at next month’s Boston Marathon. It’s a significant step up from other runs. In addition to the $400 entry fee, he pledged to raise $5,000. Most marathon goals are $1,500.

But it’s important to Adler. “I like to give back,” he simply.

At 52, he runs marathons faster than people half his age. His best time was 3:14 — but he’s proudest of his 3:19 in the 2015 Boston Marathon. That took place in bone-chilling temperatures and pouring rain, with wind blowing in his face the entire way.

house-of-possibilities-logoThe support of friends spurs Adler to train harder and run faster. But he needs the support of others — even people he does not know — to reach his $5,000 mark.

Adler has created a fundraising page. He hopes you’ll click here to help.