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The Ethan Foundation



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Redefining how people view health and wellness, starting from birth, is what The Ethan Foundation is all about. A hometown organization that started right here in Bowling Green, the foundation has a mission to change the idea of exercise from what many view as a chore that you must check off each day to fun that everyone looks forward to and truly enjoys.

“Founded in 2012, The Ethan Foundation is the passion project of Erin Richter, owner of and Level three Trainer at CrossFit Old School,” Executive Director Caitlin Greenwell says. “She saw the need for proper education surrounding leading a healthy lifestyle — from childhood to adulthood — within the community of Bowling Green.”

The organization, which was named for Richter’s nephew, Ethan, works to instill a love for health, exercise and overall wellness from an early age. The Ethan Foundation hosts CrossFit Kids summer camps, fitness competitions for the entire family and programming through local schools.

“Our summer camps engage kids with CrossFit-style workouts, games and nutritional discussions,” Greenwell says. “We talk about the importance of activity and how just getting away from a screen for 30 minutes can improve mood and boost energy. Most of our programming is exercise cleverly guised as play — from tag to relays to obstacle courses!”
Greenwell believes that a comprehensive understanding of health is essential for life.

“Health is balance,” Greenwell says. “Health is being active but enjoying how you’re moving. Health is eating a well-rounded, nutritional diet but loving what you put into your body. It’s so important for children to learn this balance when young so they can take these good habits with them throughout their lives. As an adult, many of us know just how hard it can be to make a lifestyle change. If we can make these good choices when younger, it’s all the easier to eat well and stay active when older.” Greenwell is the only employee of the foundation, and she first came on as Executive Director in late 2018. Before starting with the foundation, Greenwell was in the communications industry and since joining the non-profit, she became a Level 1 CrossFit Trainer. Even with her extensive knowledge and background, she relies on a team of advisors and a board of directors to help steer the direction of the foundation going forward. The organization also has more than 25 volunteers dedicated to the work of the foundation, but they are always looking for more people excited about their mission.

“If you have a knack for planning events or fundraising, we would love for you to consider volunteering for our events and programs,” Greenwell says. “From securing event space to working registration tables, we need volunteers who are prompt, organized and have various skill sets.”

The Ethan Foundation is funded solely through grants, corporate donations and tax-deductible personal contributions. The organization has three large fundraising events each year: The BG Gauntlet mud run, the David and Goliath CrossFit competition and A Blanket of Bourbon gala, which is in its second year and will take place Saturday, February 15, 2020 at the National Corvette Museum.

“The Blanket of Bourbon event is really unique,” Greenwell says. “Hosted by Brent Elliott, master distiller of Four Roses Bourbon, A Blanket of Bourbon will feature dinner catered by The Linen Apron, with each course expertly paired with handcrafted Four Roses bourbons. Additionally, the event will feature a silent auction, live auction and live music provided by the sensational Pretty Ravens. Tickets will go on sale in November.”

To date this year, The Ethan Foundation has served more than 150 children in the Bowling Green area, and much of that work happened with partnerships with local organizations. Currently, the foundation partners with Jackson Academy and St. Joseph Interparochial School to implement CrossFit Kids programming, as well as the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation’s after-school program and summer camps. Greenwell is working towards growing the mission of the foundation for the future.

“The sky’s the limit for The Ethan Foundation,” Greenwell says. “I would love for us to make a difference in the life of every child in Bowling Green. It might take us a bit, but I believe we are striding toward this goal.”

To learn more about The Ethan Foundation, or to volunteer or partner with the organization, visit www.theethanfoundation.com.

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