Row-A-Thon Fundraiser to Benefit Two Local Families “Need Rowers”


In the day-to-day activities and tasks of our lives, sometimes important community matters fall to the way-side. Often we overlook the needs of our neighbors, co-workers, or family and friends due to a lack of time, resources, or when we just don’t know how to help.

One of ABC Hopes’ core initiatives is noticing and listening to the needs of the community, rallying everyone to give back to our friends when they are in need, and to give help and hope to those who need it most. In June, we asked our two affiliate gym partners in the Vista community to send out a call for nominations for a deserving family. The response we received was touching and awe-inspiring.

We are honored to announce that on August 24, we will be hosting a Row-A-Thon fundraiser for the Cooley family and the Williams family!

These two families are incredible members of the community, and are reminders of the importance of community. Please take a moment to read their nomination letter below.
The Cooley Family

“The Cooleys are an amazing family with twin 7 year olds boys, Owen and Wyatt and baby boy, Nash. The twins were born at 26 weeks and spent several months in the NICU before coming home. About 2 years ago, Owen was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. They spend much of that time in and out of hospitals, surgeries, and therapy.. This has been mentally and financially draining for the Cooleys. Owen is still working hard to regain balance, and coordination, as well as cognitive skills. The Cooley’s continue to be thankful for clear scans but are paying high co-pays, paying off medical bills, and wish to send Owen to a specialized program out of the country.” Amy Benzon, a close family friend and recipient of the first ABC Hopes Row-A-Thon in Vista, wrote these incredible words in her nomination for the Cooley family.

Wanting the best medical care possible for their son, the Cooley family would love to seek specialized treatment for Owen. “We are trying to pay for some alternative therapies. We will not be able to afford the one in Canada/Russia but we are currently attempting to enroll in something local,” said Niki Cooley.

We all know that the wonders of medicine are advancing everyday, but finding the best help possible can be costly and time consuming. It is our hope that with the amazing support from the community we can make this heart-wrenching journey for the Cooleys just a little bit easier.

The Williams Family

On April 14, 2019, an unforseen accident changed the lives of the Williams family in unimaginable ways forever. Jimmy Williams, a firefighter for the Vista area, was nominated by his father Jim Williams. “Jimmy is a Vista firefighter that suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury),” stated Jim, “…He was at the station when he fell and hit his head. He fractured his skull in multiple places. He is now on the road to recovery and is currently not able to perform his duties as a firefighter. He has a wife and two kids. He has been doing physical therapy and has completed a round of TBI care in a treatment facility.”

Jimmy’s wife, Natalie was on duty at Palomar Hospital when her husband was admitted to ICU, and was rushed into emergency brain surgery. Natalie knew her husband was in good hands with the trauma team at Palomar. Thankfully, Jimmy is on the road to recovery, but their family still struggles heavily with the after-effects of the accident.

“Being a fire wife assumes a certain amount of worry knowing your husband can get hurt on the job. If that day comes, all of a sudden she is thrust into the leadership role caring for her house, her children, and now her husband. She has to become his advocate and helper, making sure he receives the best care possible. I’m hoping this will help make that care easier,” said Jim. The Williams family are adjusting to their new reality, but their love and dedication to each other speaks volumes of why they are deserving of this award.

It is imperative that we acknowledge the needs of our neighbors in our community and give the support that is so desperately needed. Please, join us on August 24th at CrossFit Trifecta. If you can’t participate or attend, we would appreciate if you could donate to help these wonderful families.