Friday, March 28, 2008

Ironman athletes raising critical funds for CTI

When Willmar natives and Derrick and Jacob Cruze step up to the starting line at Ironman Coeur d’Alene on June 22nd, (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) they won’t be competing just for themselves. They’ll also be raising funds for local nonprofit CTI Music Ministries (Carpenter’s Tools International).

The Cruze brothers are fundraising as a part of the Janus Charity Challenge, an innovative program designed and sponsored by the investment management firm, Janus. The program acts as a catalyst to motivate Ironman athletes to use the race to raise money for charity. But unlike most other race fundraisers, there is no pre-determined beneficiary. Each athlete can select the nonprofit organization they wish to support. Since the program’s inception in 2001, triathletes have raised over $18 million for hundreds of charities throughout the United States.

“Janus is proud to continue to offer this exceptional program because it engages more people in meeting the critical needs of their communities. The incredible commitment of athletes like Derrick and Jacob Cruze is a true testament to the caliber of Ironman athletes, and only helps to drive more awareness and support for vital nonprofit organizations throughout the country.” said Janus corporate sponsorship director, Casey Cortese. To inspire athletes to participate, Janus makes additional contributions to the beneficiaries of the top fundraisers at each of the full distance U.S. Ironman races.

CTI Music Ministries provides established youth ministries with the engaging resource of a relevant music team for evangelism to the non-believer, discipleship for the growing Christian, and encouragement to the Body of Christ. CTI’s team environment provides Christian musicians in transition to young adulthood a living training ground to develop their gifts in the global missions workforce while providing life-skills training and promoting spiritual formation in their own lives. Derrick & Jacob attend the home church of several of CTI’s permanent staff. After a presentation last year, the Cruze brothers felt called to support the work of CTI in a direct way. Not being musicians, they are lending their athletic ability to help fulfill the mission of CTI through supporting its operations.

The Cruze brothers are putting out a call to our community to join their fundraising efforts. To make a contribution, go to and click on "How to Donate".

Ironman Coeur d’Alene will be held in the mountain forestry of Idaho’s beautiful panhandle on June 22nd. In the months leading up to the race, you can view Derrick and Jacob’s training and fundraising updates online by visiting their blog at You can track their progress on race day live on