Jim Mead has set out to accomplish something monumental to help restore streamflow and improve water quality in the Deschutes River and its tributaries. To help raise awareness and fundraise for the Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC), Mead, a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley and partner in the Pacific Wealth Group at Morgan Stanley signed up for the 2009 Ford Ironman Triathlon. The race is on November 22 in Tempe, Arizona and entails a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run – all in one day.
Mead first set-out on this athletic endeavor as a dare from his three kids. He has been training for the Ironman race since February and has always welcomed new, exciting challenges. According to Mead, “the training schedule has proven to be an excellent opportunity to get out and enjoy the best of what Central Oregon has to offer. Whether I am doing an early morning run on the river trail or biking up to Mt. Bachelor, I am thankful on a daily basis to live in such an amazingly beautiful area. It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Mead, who currently serves on the board of directors for the DRC, wanted to leverage his investment in the organization, find a clever way to raise awareness about the issues facing our local rivers and streams and encourage others to support the work of the organization. The Janus Charity Challenge encourages Ironman contenders to pick a charity to fundraise for and they will match a portion of the amount raised. Mead states on the Janus Charity Challenge website: “Your financial support of this fine organization (the DRC) will literally help fuel me to completion of this grueling challenge. More important than winning this race, I hope to raise the most money of all the race contestants. By doing so, the Janus Charity Challenge will leverage the donations all my supporters have made by contributing an additional $10,000 to the DRC.
This is one challenge I’m determined to win and each of you can play an important role in helping me do that.” According to the Janus Charity Challenge website: Since its inception in 2001, the Janus Charity Challenge has helped Ironman participants raise more than $37.5 million for nonprofits across the United States. The program offers athletes the flexibility to race for the charity they are most passionate about and provides them with tools and tips to make fundraising easy and effective. Better yet, Janus rewards the top 50 fundraisers at each race with additional charitable donations, totaling nearly $375,000 each year.
To date, Mead has raised $41,710 and is very close to his fundraising goal of $50,000. More importantly, Mead has raised the most money of all of the other race contestants. This bodes well for his fundraising goals and especially for the DRC. Tod Heisler, executive director of the DRC, is ecstatic about Jim Mead’s endeavor: “Jim is a very important part of our team at the DRC. He is always thinking of innovative ways to increase awareness and funding for the organization. To train for an Ironman and raise funds for our organization in the process is an incredible testament to his commitment to the natural resources in our area. We are very fortunate to have him as a board member and strong supporter of our work.”
The DRC is a non-profit organization with a mission to restore streamflow and improve water quality in the Deschutes River Basin. Founded in 1996 as a collaborative, multi-stakeholder organization, the Board of Directors makes decisions by consensus and is comprised of key public and private interests including farming, ranching, timber, development, hydropower, recreation, tribes, and environment. To date, the organization has restored 160 cubic feet per second (cfs) to our local rivers and streams.