Your Donation Can Change an Athletes Life

Greater Rochester Amateur Athletic Federation​

Spring 2019
Newsletter pdf
Spring 2019 Grant Recipients

Congratulations to the four talented athletes listed below, GRAAF’s most recent Grant Recipients!

AJ Gruttadauro - Race Walk
Miranda Melville - Race Walk
Marie Vallone - Team Handball
Amy Cymermann - Draft Triathlon

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Games are a little over a year away. Your Athletes Need Your Support! Please Give!
Since 1983 the Greater Rochester Amateur Athletic Federation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has given almost $340,000 to help athletes reach their greatest potential. We believe everyone who is willing to devote their lives to become a national hero deserves a chance to compete at the highest levels.

Chasing an Olympic dream costs a great deal of time, but also a great deal of money. Coaches, travel, lodging, equipment, trainers, and other expenses add up fast and in the United States hopeful athletes have to pay for their own expenses until they qualify for the Olympic team which can be $20k per year for 4-5 years.

If you are inspired by our vision we encourage you to take action today. Donate and/or sign up to join our list of volunteers. Together we can support the childhood hero of the future.
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The 20-year-old from Rochester, New York, took third place at the world cup stop in Park City on Wednesday and on Thursday she made it two podiums in a row. With her third-place finish on night two, Schild officially qualified for her first Olympic team. She joins teammate Jaelin Kauf, who qualified after her second-place finish on Wednesday.
Kauf won with a score of 81.37. It marked the fourth podium in six world cups for the 21-year-old who had never landed on the moguls world cup podium before this season. France’s Perrine Laffont was second Thursday, earning 80.38 in the super final.
Schild’s second straight third-place finish came with a score of 78.76.
The Olympic berth is the latest step on the comeback trail for Schild, who this time last year was just coming back on the competition circuit after missing nearly two years because of a knee injury.
Schild was the FIS world cup rookie of the year for the 2014-15 but tore her ACL in March of that season at the junior world championships. She missed 22 months in recovery and rehabilitation.
In her first competition back in January 2017, she got third place. Schild then arrived at Deer Valley and scored her second career world cup victory. Her first came in dual moguls, a non-Olympic event, in March 2015.
Pittsford native Jon Lillis was named to the U.S. Aerial Ski Team. He'll join freestyle moguls skier Morgan Schild in South Korea next month. 
"Being named to the Olympic team, not only is it a great honor, but it’s the realization of a dream come true," Lillis said. "When you work so hard for so many years and you have one goal and that’s the specific goal, it’s just a culmination of really a lifetime’s dedication to your dream."
Lillis will return to Lake Place for two weeks of final training before leaving for South Korea. 
Jamie Lillis is just as excited. Jon's mother was sporting her "Team Lillis" sweatshirt at home in East Rochester Monday night. 
"I can't even express it," Jamie said. "To be able to type those words that 'Team Lillis is going to the Olympics' on Facebook and to share it with our family and friends was the moment that I was just like 'it happened'!"
The Olympic berth comes less than three months after Lillis' younger brother Michael passed away in his sleep at age 17. 
It was a sudden, unexpected passing and the sadness for the Lillis family is still raw. 
"As much as this is about me," Jon said. "It’s also about him in the sense that everything I’m doing this year and this season is for him. Make him proud and honor what he was a part of and what he wanted for his big brothers and to do it in a lot of loving memories for him."
The Games begin February 8th in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 
Congratulations Jon. Well done and well deserved!!!

Special Congrats to GRAAF Board member and Bristol Freestyle Coach ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​John Kroetz 

who welcomed Jon Lillis and Morgan Schild into the Bristol Mountain Freestyle Team at a time when their parents just wanted Coach Johnny to teach their kids how to make turns so they would stop “bombing” the trails. Flash ahead to today where he is the proud first Freestyle Coach of two US Olympic athletes! Learn more about the Bristol Freestyle Fund here.


Meet GRAAF's 2018 Olympians ​​​​​​​​​Morgan
Schild & ​Jon Lillis!

World Aerial ski champion and 2018 Olympian ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Jon Lillis

 ​GRAAF is proud to support these
two Rochester NY Olympic athletes. 

Bristol Freestyle

Moguls Skier ​​​​​​Morgan Schild Earns Spot On 2018 Olympic Team

GRAAF is pleased to announce that Iris Zimmermann, who serves as Vice-President on the GRAAF Board of Directors, will receive the RBJ 40 Under 40 award!
Like an interesting & inspirational speaker at your next meeting or conference? 

Be inspired by Olympic/Paralympic Coach Mike Ingham, a well known silver medal sailing coach, North Sails sail developer, President of GRAAF.  Mike can discuss the path to Silver Medal in RIO and preparations currently underway for the 2020 games in Tokyo, or long time GRAAF Board member Iris Zimmermann, passonate, Olympian, business owner and motovational speaker. Contact GRAAF today!
BFF Coach Kroetz
Competing at the Olympic level requires total dedication to a sport. 
All of the funds we raise come from individual donors and 100% of our funds go to the athletes.  Our grants are modest, but every dollar helps.  Athletes training to compete at the Olympic level often give up their main source of income to enable them to train full-time and GRAAF funding helps to provide them needed assistance.
Partnership - The Bristol Freestyle Fund (BFF) was created to support elite Rochester Area Freestyle Skiing Athletes who are Olympic Hopefuls. The funds objective is to collect contributions from the community and distribute 100% of the proceeds directly to the athletes who are working hard towards the Winter Olympic Games.

This objective mirrors the objective of GRAAF with the only exception being that BFF is dedicated to Winter Olympians.

GRAAF and BFF have partnered to help the newly established BFF get off the ground and share resources that will ultimately benefit both GRAAF and BFF.

The Rochester area is fortunate to have a total of 6 members on the 2018 US Ski Team. There are only 29 athletes total on the team! This season these 6 athletes will all be competing to represent Rochester, NY by earning a spot on the 2018 US Olympic Team which will compete in Korea!!

Your Donation to GRAAF Changes Lives – Here's How
Iris Zimmermann, Olympian
GRAAF checks made a direct impact in my life as an Olympic hopeful and then as an Olympian.

What people do not understand is that not all athletes are sponsored by Subway or Nike. Many of us fund our own way to our dreams.

I used to receive a GRAAF check and it would go directly to paying for my travel expenses, otherwise everything would go onto a credit card.

Training for the Olympics is a full-time job and funding is crucial to being able to make it to the ultimate goal of representing your country in the greatest competition in the world.
Miranda Melville, Olympian
Much of my success comes from the Greater Rochester Amateur Athletic Federation's support.  It is hard enough to make an Olympic team just based off of athleticism alone, but when you throw in all the other life and environmental barriers that get in the way, it can feel impossible.

GRAAF has helped abolish some of those barriers in my life. They have helped me towards working to the best of my potential and capabilities. They have made what some deem impossible, so much more realistic.

Due to the support from the GRAAF, I am faster than I ever have been, ranked higher in the U.S and in the world than I ever have. I have been able to travel, train, and compete in countries all over the world. They have helped me qualify for multiple USA Track and Field teams, where I have been able to represent my country and my hometown, Rochester NY, with pride. They have made access to resources, that are necessary for an elite athlete, much more available.

GRAAF has made a large and positive impact on my life. I am incredibly thankful I found such a wonderful organization to help me to grow as an athlete.
Bristol Freestyle
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