Pennies for Peg

I have always enjoyed running: whether it was on a soccer field, cross-country trails, or a track. In high school, I created a list of lifetime goals. One item on that list was to compete in a triathlon. Several years later, I signed up for my first triathlon. I enjoyed it so much, I made it my goal to compete in at least one triathlon a year.

Ever since I can remember, my family has donated items, year-round, to the Lupus Foundation of America.  When I discovered that the Reston Triathlon was supporting the CORE Foundation and the Barnett-Searing National Cancer Foundation, I was thrilled to raise money.  In past triathlons, I raced for my own enjoyment, rather than for a cause. This year, I wanted to be a part of something greater than myself, and to inspire others.  When I discovered the Reston Triathlon was supporting the CORE Foundation and the Barnett-Searing National Cancer Foundation, I knew I found my cause.

Shortly after learning that the Reston Triathlon was supporting the aforementioned foundations, I learned that my grandma was diagnosed with bone cancer and would be receiving palliative care.  It was a shock to my family.  She is an incredible woman and one of the most intelligent people I have ever known. She grew up in Panama, and fondly remembers climbing up the mango tree in her backyard to read after school every day. Her love for reading never ceased. It is not uncommon for my grandma to finish a 1,000-page book in a single day. Her community library ran out of books for her to read, because she read them so quickly! In addition to being a skilled reader, her crossword skills could put even the best to shame. Some of the most challenging American crosswords were ‘too easy’ for her, so she enthusiastically began doing the British crossword puzzles instead.

More impressively, my grandma was the only female in her class to graduate with an architectural engineering degree at Louisiana State University. After graduation, she combined her passion for reading and architecture and became the Editor for a well-known architectural magazine, The Architectural Record.

It is very difficult to see someone you love confined to a hospital bed, hooked up to an oxygen tank. While I cannot begin to comprehend the pain my grandma was in, I can relate to the pain family members feel for their loved ones who are suffering from cancer. By doing what I love, for those I love, I am inspired to help others who are suffering from cancer and support their loved ones by raising money for the Barnett-Searing National Cancer Foundation.

CORE Foundation and the Reston Sprint Triathlon thank Maddie Farmer for sharing her inspirational story about grandma, Peg. To learn more about her causes, please visit Maddie’s fundraising page.

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Still time to “Race with Purpose”

Spring is in the air and this is a fantastic time to start your fundraiser. “Race with Purpose” is a new program sponsored by CORE Foundation that allow you to make the most of your Reston Sprint Triathlon experience by enjoying V.I.P Perks including custom RST tri tops, shorts and cycling jerseys while at the same time, helping out a neighbor. CORE created this opportunity because our athletes say they want to enhance their athletic endeavor beyond just personal accomplishment.

Many thanks to CORE Foundation’s top fundraisers so far! Those who have raised over $500:  Fred Aryan, Christina Romeo, Madeline Farmer, Taralyn Kohler, and Brigitta Toruno. CORE’s new Race with Purpose program has raised an additional $10,000 this year, with an additional $20,000 in pledges received. Funds raised will help those in our community who are in need.

Please come to our Meetup THIS Monday, 4/2. at Red’s Table in Reston, 5:30 – 7:30 pm. CORE Foundation’s Executive Director, Taralyn Kohler, will be there to answer your questions and brainstorm on how to make your campaign effective. Some athletes have chosen to enhance their campaign by writing a blog article and allowing us to share their story on social media. Here are some great examples. Those athletes who tell their story often meet their fundraising goals in a week and also share inspiration. After all, isn’t sharing inspiration what this is all about?

Our exciting prize packages for our fundraisers include:

Raise $500 and receive these perks:
Your $105 registration fee credited back OR a custom RST/CORE tri top or custom RST/CORE cycling jersey
Guaranteed early entry to register for 2019 RST
V.I.P. patch for your shirt
V.I.P. packet pick-up
Invitation to CORE Foundation’s end of year recognition celebration

Raise $1000 and receive the Complete V.I.P. Experience:
Your $105 registration fee credited back OR a custom RST/CORE cycling jersey

 Guaranteed early entry to register for 2019 RST
V.I.P. patch for your shirt
V.I.P. packet pick-up
Custom RST/CORE tri top and tri shorts (Valued at $200)
Your story and fundraiser featured on social media
Invitation to CORE Foundation’s end of year recognition celebration

Please note that if you intend to reach the $500+ levels, we must know your intention as the custom tri top and tri bottom and cycling jersey order will be placed on April 5th and we want to ensure that your size is included in the order. If you are able to come to the Meetup THIS Monday, 4/2, sample gear will be available to try on.

 Start your fundraiser today, and “Race with Purpose!



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Happy Birthday to Taralyn Kohler, Exec Dir, CORE Foundation

Happy Birthday Taralyn, and thank you for all the good work that you do for us and the community!

As Executive Director of CORE Foundation the positive impact you have instilled into our organization has been innovative and inspirational. We are proud to have you as a member of our team! Congratulations on your achievements and we look forward to your future triumphs!

Please see more about Taralyn and the innovation she has brought to CORE Foundation since serving as Executive Director. Taralyn inspires us all to BE the CHANGE!

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Friends of Reston – Nature Center 5K Race/Walk to be held on April 14th

Join the Friends of Reston for the 15th Annual Nature Center 5K Run/Walk to benefit the Walker Nature Center in Reston, VA. The Walker Nature Center is the home of environmental education in Reston. Funds raised will support facility enhancements, educational exhibits and programs. The mission of the Nature Center is to foster environmental stewardship in the community.

The rolling and beautiful 5K course is run on paved paths and woodchipped trails through forested parkland and neighborhoods. Walkers and children are welcome. Pets and strollers are not permitted.

Post-race festivities include an awards ceremony with medals and prizes for overall finishers, plus men’s and women’s 10-year age categories, three deep. Refreshments are served after the race, and there are random drawings by bib number for a multitude of prizes. All children under 13 will receive a participation prize.

Pre-registered participants will receive a race t-shirt. Walk-ins will receive t-shirts as supplies last.


Volunteers are needed. Contact or call 703-435-7986 to volunteer. To become a sponsor, or donate a prize, contact Katie Shaw at or call 703-435-6510.

Hosted by Friends of Reston, a 510c3 supporting organization. Donations above race entry fees are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.

Event details and schedule

Online registration ends on Tuesday, April 10. Packet pick-up will be held Friday, April 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm at the Walker Nature Center’s Nature House, 11450 Glade Drive, Reston VA (the race site). Walk-in registration and packet pick-up are also available on race day beginning at 7:00 a.m.

Race start time is 8:00 a.m. Please park on Glade Drive.

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Triathlon for a cause

Our family has always been active. Dave (dad) likes to run; Heather (mom) is a Jazzercise instructor; and both boys, Zach (10), and Shawn (7) have been on the swim team since they were 6, biking since they were 4, and have been running since they were born! It only makes sense that the boys should do triathlons. This year will be Zach’s 4th Amyazing triathlon and Shawn’s first. Shawn completed his first triathlon in Herndon, Virginia in late 2017.

When we found out that the Amyazing triathlon was allowing participants to fundraise this year, the whole family was excited. Dave, a professional fundraiser for the Conquer Cancer Foundation, lost his father, the boys’ grandfather, to a brain tumor in 2012. As a family, we want to take every opportunity to raise money that will help families dealing with this terrible disease and allow scientists to find a cure.

Grandpa Glenn Wiemer was Superman. It wasn’t just a nickname – he fully embodied the characteristics of a superhero. Glenn was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 9 years old, in 1961. Despite this, he was active in sports, including baseball, hockey, and golf, and worked hard in school. Glenn graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education and started teaching at Washburne Middle School in 1974. In 1990, Glenn lost his vision completely due to complications from diabetes. Even though he was blind, Glenn continued to teach until 2009 with the assistance of a classroom aide. Throughout his career as a teacher he was a leader for students and colleagues alike and is always remembered for his sense of humor, intelligence, and love of music.

Zach and Shawn are honored to be completing the Amyazing triathlon in honor of both Amy Boyle, for whom the triathlon was created, and their superhero grandpa, Glenn Wiemer.

CORE Foundation and Be AMYazing! Reston Youth Triathlon would like to thank the Wiemer family for sharing their story. If you would like to help Zach and Shawn meet their fundraising goals, please tap here. To read more about Grandpa Glenn Wiemer (aka Superman), please view this article from the Chicago Tribune.

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My name is Aaron Letteri.  I am 14 years old and born and raised in Reston. I have learning disability, dyslexia. I currently attend Lab school of Washington to accommodate my learning difference.  I struggle in school because of my learning differences, so participating in triathlons helped me gain a lot of self-confidence.  I have also become closer to my community as result.
My triathlon journey began because my neighbors Olivia Wolfe, Kacey Hirshfeld, and Hannah Becker encouraged me to participate when I was 7 years old.  In 2018, I will compete in my eighth Reston Youth Triathlon, seventh Reston Kids Triathlon, and I will be doing my first Reston Sprint Triathlon.
I decided to Race with Purpose and fundraise because both of my parents have experienced loss due to cancer including my grandpa, uncles and my aunt. Triathlons bring the community together for a good cause, and I want to make a difference.
My advice to other kids that want to give triathlon a try is that if I can do it anyone can.   I encourage all children to participate and try to have fun; don’t be afraid or intimidated.  When you finish, you feel good about yourself. In addition, it is tons of fun.
If you are interested, I would recommend reaching out to triathlon coordinators who can easily advise you on where to start. There are a lot of volunteer positions within the triathlon that need to be filled in order for the event to be successful, and you will also receive service hours. Remember you are not alone and there are a lot of volunteers who can guide you during the race.
If you would like to donate to my campaign you can do that here:
Thank you very much for reading my story and for your support.
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Youth athletes ages 6 – 8 to Be AMYazing! at 2018 Reston Youth Triathlon on Mother’s Day

Encourage your youth athlete to Be AMYazing!

Amy’s Amigos has RYT participant slots available for the 6 to 8 year age group.

Racing in the Be AMYazing! Reston Youth Triathlon helps Amy’s Amigos raise funds for The Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation.

Register HERE

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Be AMYazing! Amy’s Amigos Reston Youth Triathlon

Amy’s Amigos was founded in 2008 by a group of 12-year olds who offered friendship and support for classmate, Amy Boyle, who was battling brain cancer. After her death, Amy’s spirit, athleticism, and love of life motivated her friends to found Amy’s Amigos which launched the first local triathlon just for children in May 2011 in her honor.
Through the years that same group of friends, who are now about to graduate from college, expanded Amy’s Amigos to younger teens who continue with the spirit of Amy to this day. High school students still lead Amy’s Amigos with the assistance from many adult volunteers and supported by CORE Foundation. To date, Be AMYazing! Reston Youth Triathlon has raised over $100,000 for The Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation to aid in research of pediatric brain tumors. This personal fundraising program was created to help raise even more funds and to grow Amy’s legacy demonstrating that a group of kids with a little help from their parents can make a difference.  Amy’s Amigos Be AMYazing! Reston Youth Triathlon is held each year on Mother’s Day. The 2018 race will be on May 13th. A limited number of spots are still available. Parents can register their youth athletes here.
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RST Athlete’s Story – Brigitta

This year I will cross something off my bucket list – completing a Sprint Triathlon! It is the Reston Sprint Triathlon, and it will take place on Sunday, June 3rd! I am about to turn 55 years old, and this will be my first sprint triathlon. I am up for the challenge! Plus, as you’ll see below, it benefits our community!

About 10 – 15 years ago I became fascinated with triathlons. I had only seen them on TV, and it was probably an Ironman!  That seemed like an unobtainable goal to me, but then I found out about sprint triathlons! That seemed like a goal that I could work towards. You have to understand that 10 – 15 years ago I was overweight, and I barely exercised. How would I ever fit in exercising? Or eating nutritiously? 

It seemed that my time was spent raising my children, taking care of my elderly parents, and running my two businesses. I realize that these are excuses, but that’s where I was for the past many years. Fast forward to five years ago and a life changing divorce. I started to feel more motivated to exercise. I had a personal trainer that helped me get to the point where I started jogging and then running 5Ks. I participated in a 5K for five months in a row. Winter hit, and I stopped running the 5Ks. Motivation waned in the last few years. I practiced yoga (and meditation) and walking and hiking. But that sprint triathlon was always in the back of my mind. 

In 2017, I lost 20 pounds on my own. I did not use any particular diet plan. I reached deep inside of me for self-discipline in my nutrition. As the pounds started coming off, I again found a personal trainer in a friend of mine, Pilar Lorca who has her own personal training company called Fitness4Everybody.  I started to feel stronger, even as I continued to lose weight.

Many years ago I had signed-up to receive emails from the Reston Sprint Triathlon organization. When I saw an email reminder to register come in early January, I was inspired to register! I have five months to train, and I am very excited!  It just goes to show that anything is possible! 

When I saw that there was a fundraising opportunity attached to the registration that will benefit the non-profit Cornerstones, I decided to join in and enhance my experience beyond my personal achievement.  Thanks to my friends and family, I have already raised over $200 toward my $1000 goal.  I’m a true believer in giving back to the community. There are incentives tied to the fundraiser, but even if there weren’t, I would still want to help raise funds for Cornerstones. 

You can make a donation to my fundraiser here:

Wish me luck and steady training!  See you on 6/3/18!

Brigitta S. Toruño

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Welcome Taralyn Tharp Kohler

Please welcome to CORE Foundation our new acting Executive Director, Taralyn Tharp Kohler. Taralyn is thrilled to join The CORE Foundation’s leadership team, and shares the belief in the model of social change by giving others a hand up not just a hand out. Taralyn was attracted to CORE Foundation’s social entrepreneur structure which varies from many 501(c)3s which focus on only one “cause.” Instead, CORE Foundation supports many causes locally, and pools together administrative and business resources while offering coaching and mentoring. This allows the causes to focus on generating donor revenue and making a difference effectively. By seeding leadership and skills locally, Taralyn feels that we can make for a stronger sustainable community for generations to come.

CORE Foundation excels in fundraising through events like triathlon and golf tournaments which also mirror Taralyn’s personal passion for sports. Ironically, Taralyn was introduced to CORE Foundation when she participated as an athlete in the 2016 Reston Sprint Triathlon (RST) which was also her first triathlon. RST is the largest triathlon in Northern Virginia, bringing together over 1000 athletes, and has a unique community feel. A portion of each athlete’s race fee is seeded back into the underserved community in Northern Virginia.

Taralyn looks forward to introducing some exciting new programs to CORE Foundation and RST this year that stress the ideas of helping your neighbor and making a difference through sports. These include the opportunity to fundraise and “Race for Free” earning back your race fee as an incentive for fundraising as well as the opportunity to purchase custom RST / CORE Foundation tri tops and tri shorts to further spread awareness of neighbors helping neighbors.

Taralyn is well seasoned in business development, strategy, sales and marketing.  After graduating from the University of Maryland College Park, Taralyn entered into the field of telecommunications. Early in her career, Taralyn was selected for MCI’s Coaching & Leadership Program fast-tracking her into management. An innovative network design which solved a client’s problem resulted in her team’s success story being featured in MCI’s annual report and industry publications: Network World, Call Center Digest, & Converge Network. Under her leadership, her team built the relationship with TWI which resulted in MCI’s acquiring ICF launching a new product line of digital media. Having an interest in being an impactful mentor then led her to seek certification in Executive Leadership Coaching at Georgetown and then shifted her career focus into helping others.
Having worked with charities since childhood, Taralyn is a natural thought leader and philanthropist.  Her intense passion for social good led her to launch “Move Your Mission,” a boutique consulting firm.  “Move Your Mission” does exactly what the name states helping organizations find new and creative ways to execute their vision and achieve sustainability while doing good.  Taralyn specializes in taking clients to a higher level than they dreamed possible.  Her concepts have been published in Grant Watch, Virginia Women’s Magazine, and Loudoun Women’s Magazine.
Outside of her professional work, she serves on the Steering Committee of “In The Bag,” the American Red Cross National Capital Region’s largest all-volunteer run fundraiser, which raises more than $140,000 annually in a one-day event. Taralyn is also part of the National Charity League and the Young Men’s Service League, where she volunteers with her teenage children, leaving a legacy of giving back and fostering leadership in our youth.  For her efforts in serving our community, she has been awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2016 and 2017 for achieving more than 500 hours of community service.
Taralyn is honored to be a member of the Capital Speakers Club of Washington where she elected President of her class.  She enjoys public speaking for the organizations that she champions.
For fun, Taralyn represents causes that she is passionate about through triathlon and is a fitness enthusiast.  She just crossed the finish line of her first Ironman 70.3 and plans to train for more 70.3 distance races in 2018.  She’s proud to have been selected to serve on the 2018 Ambassador Teams for Tritats and Field Work Nutrition Company. Taralyn resides in Fairfax with her two teenage children, and her husband James.
Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Taralyn, and in wishing her the best of luck in her new position with CORE Foundation.
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