More than 275 kids registered for the inaugural fundraising effort Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon in West Des Moines

WEST DES MOINES, 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — It wasn’t a competition, but everyone was a winner today at the inaugural Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon in West Des Moines. Hundreds of young athletes and their families braved the stormy weather conditions and showed up strong at Raccoon River Park today to participate in the first-ever Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon — a fundraising effort that supports children with cancer and their families.

More than 275 kids registered for the triathlon, which included shorter distances — making it fun, accessible and engaging for children of all fitness levels. To ensure athletes’ safety, the event was modified and delayed about 90 minutes due to this morning’s thunderstorms. The swim portion was omitted and athletes completed only the bike and run legs of the course.

But the changes didn’t dampen the kids’ enthusiasm and support for the Pinky Swear Foundation.

“What a marvelous day for such a wonderful and worthy cause. These young people who participated today and raised money and awareness for children with cancer are my heroes,” said Ryan Grant, director of sports marketing at Hy-Vee, Inc. “The entire Hy-Vee family is thrilled to be part of Pinky Swear in helping those Iowa kids and their families touched by cancer.”

This spring, Hy-Vee announced its partnership with the Pinky Swear Foundation, which began as a pinky swear promise between a son and his father and has since grown into a national charitable organization to support children and families through triathlons and other community activities. The new Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons focus on participation rather than competition.

The primary purpose of the swim, bike and run events is the fundraising aspect, in which kids raise money to help kids with cancer and their families. In many cases, the money provides basic needs, such as mortgage and rent, transportation, utilities, gas cards and food. According to Pinky Swear, a child is diagnosed with cancer every 45 minutes in the United States, and 1 out of 11 families given that news will file for bankruptcy.

“It was apparent to everyone at Raccoon River Park this morning that Pinky Swear is all about the kids — hundreds of young triathletes racing and participating for those who can’t,” said Brian Nelson, executive director of the Pinky Swear Foundation. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the success of today’s event and look forward to the other Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons across the region.”

In addition to the Des Moines metro area, Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlons will be held this summer in Minneapolis, Omaha, the Quad Cities and Kansas City. Hy-Vee is committed to fitness-friendly events that engage customers and benefit the communities it serves. Pinky Swear shares that commitment. Through this collaboration, Pinky Swear’s message and mission will reach a broader audience while allowing Hy-Vee to continue its long-term focus and dedication to the sport of triathlon.

To get involved and register for an upcoming Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon, visit www.pinkyswear.org.

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Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 235 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $8.7 billion annually. Hy-Vee ranks among the top 25 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. Supermarket News, the authoritative voice of the food industry, has honored the company with a Whole Health Enterprise Award for its leadership in providing services and programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit www.hy-vee.com.

The Pinky Swear Foundation was founded on a pinky swear promise as a dying wish between a nine-year-old boy and his father to help children with cancer and their families by providing immediate basic needs support and unique family programs. That pinky swear, the most solemn of oaths between two people, lives on today in the Pinky Swear Foundation. The Pinky Swear Foundation is passionately committed to helping children with cancer and their families by being fanatically responsive to the immediate crisis facing families with a childhood cancer diagnosis. Pinky Swear Foundation activities include the world’s largest kids fundraising triathlon series, National Pinky Swear Day, and other community engagement opportunities. Visit us at PinkySwear.org or follow us at @PinkySwearFndtn.