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Although it’s been five years since Casey Crouse participated in IU Dance Marathon as a student, his passion for the cause and Riley Hospital for Children continues burning strong.

On Sept. 7, the 2009 IUDM president will compete in an Ironman in Madison, Wis. The money he raises through the race will go straight towards the 2014 IUDM total.

Casey said he’s been competing in triathlons for three years and always wanted to step up to an Ironman distance. To train, he said he’s been swimming, running and biking “a lot” as well as taking part in other races. The Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and marathon run.

But for Casey, the Ironman is much more than a race. It’s an opportunity to raise money For The Kids and spread awareness of Riley and IUDM. It’s also an opportunity honor and spread his sister Ashley’s legacy.  

Ashley Louise Crouse was killed in a tragic car accident in 2005 while serving on the IUDM executive council. To honor her caring spirit and positive influence, all IUDM apparel bears her initials, “ALC”, and the marathon is dedicated in her memory.

 “The entire (Ironman) fundraiser is open to anyone to be connected to Riley and with IUDM and just provide an avenue to give back,” Casey said.

Casey’s goal is $50,000. So far, he’s raised $24,100.

“I’m really appreciative of everything,” he said. “It’s all about just staying connected to DM. That’s my entire goal. It’s very comforting to know that I can be connected and help as an alumni.”

To learn more and support Casey’s efforts, visit iudm.org/imforash. He also shares updates on his training through Facebook as well as Twitter and Instagram @caseycrouse with the hashtag #IMforAsh.

Casey said even a little support – whether it’s donating money or simply spreading the word about IUDM and Ashley’s legacy – can make a big difference for his efforts, and of course, For The Kids.

“Not everyone has the funds to give, but everyone can at least give the time and effort to this cause,” he said. “I’ll be out there doing everything I can.”

Written by Alyssa Schor