Ambassadors

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Meet ambassadors Mark and Kara Rittenhouse of Rit-Fit!

2017-01-23T22:28:34+00:00 September 25th, 2014|Ambassadors|

RitfitWhere do you live? Carolina Bay, West Ashley

Are you a runner/ walker/ biker? Runner/Walker/Biker

 What do you do for a living?

 Mark: Assistant Professor/Naval Science Instructor at The Citadel

Kara: Personal Trainer/Nutritionist/Business Owner (Rit-Fit)

What inspires you?  Our three children (Keao, Kai, Keanu), “Just a Father and Mother trying to do better for the health of our family.”

Why do you want to represent the Charleston James Island Connector Run?  We want to represent this GREAT cause because of the Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation and the opportunities it has given college students with physical disabilities here in the low country.  We were given the opportunity last year to be a part of this amazing event and we are excited they have invited us back.

Motivational Moment: Inspire yourself, your friends, your neighbors to love the feeling of the pavement beneath their feet or the thrill of the ride with wind pushing against every peddle.  Join our OHANA (Hawaiian for family) and the Rit-Fit Team raise money for the Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation.  Please HELP us continue this GREAT tradition of providing college scholarships to disabled students here in the low country.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the lowcountry? The PEOPLE!!!

How can people connect with you?

run@rit-fit.com
rit-fit.com
www.facebook.com/RitFitNutritionAndWellness

 

Meet Ambassador Melissa Vause!

2017-01-23T22:28:35+00:00 September 20th, 2014|Ambassadors|

JICrun

Where do you live? Summerville

Are you a runner/ walker/ biker? I love running and biking, and Charleston is a great place to do both. It took living away from Charleston for a few years to realize how much I took this beautiful city for granted. Take advantage of the fact that you live in one of the best cities in the nation and take your exercise routine outdoors! 

What do you do for a living? I am a rehabilitation counselor by day, and I teach Barre classes a few nights a week at Pivotal Fitness in West Ashley. I will hopefully be teaching a few yoga classes during the afternoons beginning this winter.

What inspires you? The lowcountry students benefiting from this great cause! Last year was my first year participating as an ambassador for the JIC run and it was such a rewarding experience to be a part of this beneficial event. As an ambassador, I was able to meet the recipients of last year’s Gavalas Kolanko scholarship and speak with each student individually about their plans for college. The kids blew me away! I had a chance to talk with a few families of these brilliant students, two parents in particular who were lighting up the entire room with their smiles. I knew immediately who their son was in the group of 13 recipients. He was smiling even bigger than they were, and it was so contagious I found myself grinning ear to ear! They talked about how proud they were of him, how smart he was, and what he wanted to do when he graduated college. This was a BIG deal for them. For several students with disabilities, the cost of medical equipment and disability management is an issue. This foundation extends the opportunity for a college education to students who may otherwise not have the funds. I don’t run the race to break records (because Lord know I’m slow as molasses). I run the race for these kids! The 6 hills are just an added bonus 😉

Why do you want to represent the Charleston James Island Connector Run? This is hands down one of my favorite local events of the year and I’ve been looking forward to it literally since I finished the race last year! It’s well organized, big enough that you feel an inspiring sense of community, yet small enough that the crowd isn’t overwhelming (compared to other bridge runs…) The JIC run fundraising event at Holy City Brewing on October 18th this year is a fun way to reach out to the Charleston community to not only raise money, but also an excellent way to raise awareness for people with disabilities.

Motivational Moment:  Be active! Do it for yourself, do it for these students, do it for the exhilarating moment you reach the finish line. Whatever your reason may be, there is no better time than now to be active in your community, support a great cause, and enjoy the sights of the beautiful Charleston peninsula.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the lowcountry? The sweet Southern hospitality!

How can people connect with you?

Read my blog: yogabarrechs.blogspot.com

Tweet me or find me on Instagram: @yogabarreista

Meet Ambassador Nicole Leaf!

2014-09-18T08:00:58+00:00 September 18th, 2014|Ambassadors|

Where do you live? Off of Harbor View in James Island

Are you a runner/ walker/ biker? All the above

What do you do for a living? I am the Food & Beverage Marketing Manager at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

What inspires you? Goals. Setting achievable goals and sticking with them.

Why do you want to represent the Charleston James Island Connector Run? James Island is now my new ‘home town’ here in Charleston. The JI Connector run is a great race with an incredible backdrop and all to raise funds for a cause that needs recognition!

Motivational Moment: This honestly is one of the only times to get out there and explore the JI Connector in this fun and safe race. The run/walk/bike event allows for all different levels of athleticism… from those who are looking to take home a win to those looking to enjoy a beautiful morning in the Lowcountry, all while raising awareness and funds for Gavalas Kolanko Foundation.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the lowcountry?

Hard to choose your ‘favorite’ but I would have to say the community. The feeling of being ‘home’ hits big time with me here in Charleston… where ever I am and whatever I am up to I feel a since of comradery upmost the community.

How can people connect with you?

Facebook- www.facebook.com/nicoleleaf

Instagram- @nleaf03

Email- nleaf03@gmail.com

 

 

 

Meet Ambassador Krystal Davis!

2014-09-17T08:00:36+00:00 September 17th, 2014|Ambassadors|

I live in Mt. Pleasant SC

I am a runner

I am an accountant for Charleston Habitat for Humanity

I love representing the James Island Connector Run because it supports the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation which helps fund secondary education for students with disabilities.  All students deserve the opportunity to continue their education and this foundation helps make dreams a reality.

Last year was the first time that I ran the James Island Connector Run.  I ran this just 6 days after completing my first marathon (Marine Corp Marathon).  This run gave me the motivation I needed to continue my training and to never give up.  Running allows me to time to clear my mind, brush off frustrations and just be me.  I truly am honored to be able to support such an amazing organization while advancing myself through my running.

My favorite thing about living in the LowCountry is being near the water.  I absolutely love the outdoors and love the beach.  When you run in the morning (or late evening) and get to experience the sunrises and sunsets, you realize just how lucky you are to get to live in such a beautiful place.  Shem Creek Pier and Pitt Street Bridge are two of my absolute favorite running spots.

People can connect with me through facebook.com/krystal.w.davis, twitter @tbadavis or through email tbadavis@yahoo.com.  I look forward to an amazing run and getting to know new people.

 

Meet Race Ambassador Carrie Dixon!

2017-01-23T22:28:39+00:00 September 16th, 2014|Ambassadors|

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Where do you live? Mount Pleasant

Are you a runner/ walker/ biker? I’m a runner

What do you do for a living? I teach middle school special education.

What inspires you? My brother, PJ inspires me in every aspect of my life.  We were raised with the belief that we can do anything if we set our minds to it.  PJ has muscular dystrophy but doesnt let that stop him from doing anything that he wants to do.  He is beautiful and full of love for every single person he meets. I run because he cant.  Every time I tie my shoes, PJs amazing will is my fuel to finish happy.

Why do you want to represent the Charleston James Island Connector Run?  I had a blast running the Connector last year and wanted to be a part of it again! It’s a beautiful race benefitting a wonderful cause. I’m honored to be an ambassador again.

Why should you run/walk/bike the Connector?  Why shouldn’t you?!  We live in one of the most amazingly beautiful places on Earth. As locals we should take every opportunity to appreciate and enjoy our surroundings.  Physical activity is good for the soul; give it a shot, what do you have to lose? Events like this are a great way to meet new people, experience new things, and check something off the bucket list.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the Lowcountry? Pluff mud. One whiff and I know I’m home.

How can people connect with you?

Facebook (Carie Dixon)

Twitter @hulagirl1114

Email: carie.m.dixon@gmail.com

Be sure to say hi if you see me on the connector! 

Meet Ambassador Steven Holshouser!

2017-01-23T22:28:42+00:00 September 1st, 2014|Ambassadors|

 

Steven 

Where do you live?  

Mount Pleasant, SC (Inside IOP connector)

Are you a runner/ walker/ biker?  

I am an Ironman Triathlete that has become a walker for a while do to an injury, but mainly run, bike and swim all year long!

 What do you do for a living?

I am a third year graduate student at MUSC studying drug discovery for Pancreatic cancer therapy.

What inspires you?

People who have lost so much and given everything they have for our country to keep us free, and still persevere to continue with things like completing IRONMAN races or even just still go above and beyond after they have already done so much.

 Why do you want to represent the Charleston James Island Connector Run?  I want to represent the run because this is part of my life. Growing up biking and running in Charleston has been my life’s passion. I bike over the bridge to connect from Mount Pleasant to downtown to James Island multiple times a week as well as run across it on weekday runs. It is part of my life and has been for a while .I want to represent the run to share my experience with everyone in the low country and show them what they are missing out on!

Motivational Moment: 

All my life I have been overweight and not been able to have the satisfaction of running like all my friends. In the 9th grade, I failed the mile run test in gym, and had to retake it. After this moment, I decided to make a change in my life, for myself as well for my health. I dropped close to 80 pounds in just 1.5 years and started running cross country and biking every day. This was a lifestyle switch where my diet, and exercise had to go hand in hand. After 7 years of participating in triathlons, I have been able to work my way up to be able to compete in the IRONMAN World Championships in Kailua, Kona, HI in 2013. This was the greatest moment in my life. If I can inspire just one person to lose the weight and find a passion for exercise such as mine, I know I have made the world a better place. Exercise is key to living a healthy and long life. I want to inspire each and every person who look at me and say “I could never do that”. If everyone just knew where I came from, they might change their mind. The 2013 Ironman slogan was “Anything is Possible”, and I am a true example that truly anything is!

What’s your favorite thing about living in the lowcountry?

My favorite thing about the lowcountry is the weather. We are so lucky that we are able to bike, run, swim, fish, surf, paddleboard,  etc. all year long! Many places are so seasonal with all of their outdoor activities, but not Charleston. I was born and raised here, and do not think I will ever leave if I can help it! It truly is an amazing city.

How can people connect with you?

I love having conversations with people about any form of exercise as well as Ironman training, goals and planning etc. People can connect with me via facebook or email at:

https://www.facebook.com/steven.holshouser.33

Holshou@musc.edu

Welcome back to race ambassador Tammi Spivey!

2017-01-23T22:28:43+00:00 August 28th, 2014|Ambassadors|

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Where do you live? James Island

 Are you a runner/ walker/ biker? Runner

What do you do for a living? I am the school counselor at Drayton Hall Elementary.

What inspires you?

Several things inspire me, first of all my faith inspires me and gives me hope every day. My husband and my 2 children inspire me to be the best wife and mom I can be. I am also inspired by my mom who this month of August celebrates 5 years of being cancer free!

Why do you want to represent the Charleston James Island Connector Run?

 I would love to represent the JI Connector Run because it supports students with disabilities! I have been in the education field for 14 years and started my careers as a special education teacher. I love to advocate for students anyway that I can!

Motivational Moment:

I would encourage everyone to get and get active! Take time for yourself.  You deserve it! Being a full-time working mom, I know it is hard to find time to run, walk, bike-ride, etc. but it’s important for us physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you don’t belong to a gym, allow the kids to run or bike with you and make it part of your family time.  By taking time for yourself to be a better you, you are teaching your children a life lesson of taking care of themselves living a healthy lifestyle! If you aren’t a runner,  just walk it – it is an amazing view!

What’s your favorite thing about living in the lowcountry? 

Best thing about living in the lowcountry is living only 10 minutes from the beach!

How can people connect with you? Facebook 🙂

 

 

Meet Ambassador Melissa Vause Feetham!

2017-01-23T22:28:45+00:00 September 3rd, 2013|Ambassadors|

“Be active! Do it for yourself, do it for your family, do it for the exhilarating moment you reach the finish line. Whatever your reason may be – Just DO it!”

Where do you live?
Summerville, SCMelissa Vause Feetham

Are you a runner/ walker/ biker?
Swimmer, Biker, Runner – triathlete!

What do you do for a living?
I am a counselor with the Berkeley/Dorchester Vocational Rehabilitation department. I help both students and adults with physical and mental disabilities achieve employment through school or re-training, and assist them in learning the skills to continue working.

What inspires you?
My husband, Stephen. He pushes me off the couch to go run on days I’d rather eat ice cream and watch re-runs of Friends, and he is always up for a new adventure! Before we were married, he was right there beside me helping me train and fundraise for my first triathlon with Team in Training, and we’ve finished close to a dozen other races together since then. Stephen is my biggest supporter and my motivation to be a better wife, friend, counselor, and athlete!

Why do you want to represent the Charleston James Island Connector Run?
Working with young adults on a day to day basis gives me the chance to witness some of the barriers students with disabilities face. For several, the cost of medical equipment and disability management is an issue. The Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation extends the opportunity for a college education to students who may otherwise not have the funds.  The James Island Connector Run fundraising events (namely the Holy City brewing event!) are excellent ways to reach out to the Charleston community to raise money, and most importantly, raise awareness for people with disabilities. What better way to support the foundation than to get out into the community and do what I already love –RUN! – while representing the JICR?

Motivational Moment:
Be active! Do it for yourself, do it for your family, do it for the exhilarating moment you reach the finish line. Whatever your reason may be – Just DO it! There is no better time than now to be active in your community, support a great cause, and enjoy the sights of the beautiful Charleston peninsula. You won’t regret it!

What’s your favorite thing about living in the lowcountry?
The sweet Southern hospitality!

How can people connect with you?
Read my blog: www.mels99.blogspot.com
Tweet me: @melvause
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melissa.vause

 

 

 

Meet Ambassador Ed Demaree!

2017-01-23T22:28:46+00:00 August 26th, 2013|Ambassadors|

 “The James Island Connector Run is a great venue to get out and see Charleston’s beautiful waterfront and a view of the city while getting in a great run for a great cause.”

Where do you live?
Mt Pleasant, SC

Ed Demaree

Are you a runner/ walker/ biker?
Runner for the longest time, started cycling last fall to cross train for running, and started swimming this spring. Completed my first sprint triathlon in June of this year.

What do you do for a living?
I work for VT Milcom, I am a Healthcare Account Manager selling Nurse Call Systems, Wireless Hospital Phones and communication equipment to hospitals in SC

What inspires you?
Positive people with can do attitudes. I also like challanges and accomplishments.

Why do you want to represent the Charleston James Island Connector Run?
Spread the word on a fun run

Motivational Moment:
The James Island Connector Run is a great venue to get out and see Charleston’s beautiful waterfront and a view of the city while getting in a great run for a great cause.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the lowcountry?
The weather in the lowcountry is great for getting out and enjoying the outdoors if it is for a walk, run, cycling or on the water. Just get outside!

How can people connect with you?
Facebook – Ed Demaree
edwarddemaree@gmail.com

Meet Ambassador “Running Forrest Gump!”

2017-01-23T22:28:46+00:00 August 21st, 2013|Ambassadors|

 “The race itself is challenging, yet scenic enough to take your mind off of the effort… Every Charleston area runner should take advantage of this once a year opportunity to run/walk/bike the connector. That’s all I have to say about that.”

Run With Forrest

Where do you live:
Originally from Greenbow, AL, currently living in Charleston, SC

Are you a runner/walker/biker:
Runner

What do you do for a living:
Gardener

What inspires you:
I just felt like running.

Why do you want to represent the Charleston James Island Connector Run:
Momma said it’s always nice to help others. By representing the JI connector run I am helping to support a great charity. It is also a fun way to meet new friends and hang out with old ones. I feel like this race really brings the Charleston running community together and all for a great cause.

Motivational Moment:
The James Island Connector run is one of the best races in the lowcountry. Great organization, great post-race party, great people. The race itself is challenging, yet scenic enough to take your mind off of the effort it takes to get up those hills. Every Charleston area runner should take advantage of this once a year opportunity to run/walk/bike the connector.That’s all I have to say about that.

Whats your favorite thing about living in the lowcountry:
Lots of shrimp