Feb. 23, 2015

Jonathan Toman
jtoman@uccs.edu

Sophomore runner Mitch Klomp and interim women’s cross country coach Corey Kubatzky have partnered with a national organization to bring medals to kids in the hospital.

Medals4Mettle takes donations of old race medals, swaps the ribbon with one of their own and presents the medals to the children.

“Mitch and I figured, being running related, that it would be good to tie in with the team and start a chapter here,” said Kubatzky.

Klomp said he jumped at the idea to get involved, and they have received their first batch of ribbons.

“That’s a fantastic idea, let’s get to it,” said Klomp.

The two partnered with Boulder Running Company to have an event at Jack Quinn’s Running Club on Feb. 10 in support of the program. 52 medals were donated.

“That was a pretty big success, so that’s going to carry us for a little while,” Kubatzky said.

He hopes to have a similar event two to three times a year moving forward.

“It’s always good to give back to the community, it’s the responsibility of collegiate athletic teams, and it’s even better when you can tie it into your sport, it makes it a little more meaningful,” said Kubatzky.

Kubatzky volunteered for the organization when he was in Michigan.

“Being a kid in a hospital is never a fun thing,” said Kubatzky. “It’s good to have somebody come and recognize your efforts to get better, to tough it out.”

Klomp has been in touch with Memorial Hospital to schedule their first visit, which is expected to be in March. They will likely bring six to eight people at a time, starting with team members and then opening to the community.

“You don’t usually think about it too much, about what kind of an impact you can have in the community, said Klomp. “But seeing the kids’ faces, it kind of hits you.”

Medals can be donated at Boulder Running Company or Kubatzky’s office. Donations to the national organization can be made at medals4mettle.org.