Yesterday Senator Jeff Merkley called the Habitat for Humanity of Oregon office with exciting news. In celebration of two milestone birthdays, he and his daughter Brynne challenged one another to complete an Ironman. This year the Senator turns 60 and his daughter turns 18. To provide an extra incentive for training, they raised funds to benefit three Oregon nonprofits: Habitat for Humanity of Oregon, Friends of the Trees and the Oregon Food Bank.
On November 20th, a mild and cloudy day, they both successfully completed the Tempe, Arizona Ironman. As the sun began to rise, the cannon fired and they squeezed through the checkpoint with 3,000 other swimmers to begin the 2.4 mile river course. After finishing the first stage, they hopped onto their bikes for 112 miles of desert riding. They finished the course with a marathon (26.2 miles)—completing the Ironman as the sun set over Arizona. Brynne recounted that the last three miles were “the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.”
Today, they hand-delivered the checks that they worked so hard to raise to three Oregon nonprofits. In total Senator Merkley and his daughter Brynne raised $21,604 split evenly among the organizations.
This morning we met at the Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East office, a building Senator Merkley had the foresight to purchase when he was the organization’s Executive Director. We toured the office recently remodeled to accommodate large groups of future homeowners and volunteers for trainings. From there we traveled a few miles down the road to the Helensview build site. Senator Merkley and Brynne had the opportunity to walk through a nearly complete Habitat for Humanity home. The Senator was particularly intrigued with the home’s super-efficient heating system.
The $7,201.67 donation that Senator Merkley and Brynne raised through the Ironman Foundation will make a huge impact on Habitat for Humanity of Oregon and the 30 Oregon Habitat for Humanity offices we serve. We are honored to celebrate this milestone accomplishment with them.