STAMFORD, Conn. -- Stamford’s Angela Balduyck and Ernie DiMattia were far apart generationally and close spiritually. On Sunday, the young woman will run the 10-kilometer race in the Navigators Stamford KIC It Triathlon to honor her friend, mentor and former director of the Ferguson Library.
“He was such an influence on me in the way he composed himself in all that he did,’’ said Balduyck, who came to know DiMattia through her work for the Stamford Public Education Foundation. “I’d like to influence people the way that he did. He was such a gentle soul. He was always into whatever we were doing.”
DiMattia died last June at the age of 74 after a long battle with cancer. Balduyck, 26, worked for the SPEF for four years while pursuing her MBA at UConn Stamford. DiMattia taught a course at UConn that included Balduyck. She wrote a research paper on Kids In Crisis, the charity partner for the triathlon, and also enlisted DiMattia’s support in helping literacy programs for SPEF.
“His love for children and learning was unparalleled to any other person I have ever met,’’ Balduyck said. “I aspire to give back to the community as much as he did."
Balduyck remembers DiMattia took the class out to dinner for the final exam. He was involved a wide range of philanthropic organizations in Stamford, including The Rotary, Stamford Center For The Arts, Stamford Symphony, Salvation Army, Junior Achievement and Stamford Police Foundation.
“He was so motivational and did so much and did so much for the community,’’ Balduyck said. “I thought let me do this run in memory of him. I want to give back to the community in the way that he did.”
Sunday’s 10K is one of the newest features to the event. There will also be a 5k on Sunday, another new race to the event that began as a triathlon in 2008. The event has become so popular that it now includes a children’s triathlon on Saturday and Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons on Sunday.
Balduyck ran another Stamford charity race, Marcus For Change, a 5k put on by SPEF to honor former Stamford High football star Marcus Dixon. This will be her first 10k (6.2 miles). Readers can click here to support Balduyck through her online fundraising page.
While Balduyck is honoring her friend, she’s also proud to raise money for Kids In Crisis. The Cos Cob organization provides free round-the-clock care for Fairfield County children dealing with any type of crisis, including abuse, neglect and family conflict.
“It’s astonishing to me that Kids In Crisis is the only organization in Connecticut that helps kids in need,’’ Balduyck said. “I think if Ernie knew I was doing this he’d be proud, and humbled. He wouldn’t be out there running, but he’d be there cheering. I think he’d be proud to see that I would want to follow his footsteps.”
Click here for more information about the Navigators Stamford KIC It Triathlon.
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