Category Archives: Community Involvement

…3 Days Post The Liberty Hospital Half Marathon

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Here I am before the race all smiles!

 

Last weekend I was honored to run the Liberty Half-Marathon. It was my first time running this race, but I now have my 5th half-marathon overall in the books! It was a heck of a race – from lots of hills to even stronger winds! Gotta love Missouri and its weather! Hills are never my favorite and I knew this was going to be a hilly run. However, I did not expect to have all the wind and attempting to run up the hill against the wind. It was definitely a challenge and an excellent mental workout!

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Mid-Point of the race starting to struggle a little.

 

At mile 6, I started doubting myself; I am hurting, struggling with this wind and I am barely halfway there! Part of me wanted to say “I hate running!” or maybe I was just getting hangry! I asked myself, “Why am I doing this to myself, forcing my body to do something that not many blade runners are capable of doing! There is a reason why there are only a few long distance runners who wear 2 prosthetic legs.” As I was walking-running, I got a thumbs up from a stranger, and a “you got this” from another stranger. I started getting my positive energy back and boom, I was at mile 8! It is amazing how I am usually the one who encourages others, but this time it was others encouraging me and giving me that boost of energy that I was lacking in this run. As I came to the last mile, I had a friend of mine pushing me along until the end! My back was in so much pain, my hips and legs didn’t want to run anymore – but my mind just wanted to be done with this race! What I am trying to say is, having positive runners around you is important! 
I didn’t PR in this race – but it was not my worst time! I would consider this to be one of my hardest races I’ve ever done, but I would gladly do it again because it challenged my mind more than my body! We forget that we are capable of so much more!

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Finally finishing the race.

 

In a month I am doing my first ever marathon – the St. Louis Marathon! Doing the Liberty Half Marathon was my way to prepare for a full marathon! From what I’ve heard, the St. Louis Marathon is nowhere near as hilly as the Liberty Half-Marathon. However, it is a full marathon, so there will be more mental training! In the next month, I’ll be increasing my running mileage, improving my nutrition and continue lifting. I am so nervous but super excited! I’ve dreamed of doing a full marathon for more than 4 years now and I’ll be doing it in just one month!

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Knit-Rite/TheraSport was a Silver Sponsor at the race.

 

Huge shot out to Liberty Hospital Half Marathon for a wonderful organized race. Thank you to Knit-Rite for your support, Doyle, my prosthetist at Decker IO&P for always making sure my legs are ready to run, Dr. Jim from Fit Muscle and Joint Clinic for making sure my body is in place, and finally, my family, friends and everyone else for all of your patience with me and my crazy running journey!

St. Louis Marathon, I’m coming for you!

 

Therafirm-Sponsored Marathoner Wins Santa Barbara Race

On November 7, 2015, 36-year-old Moninda Marube won the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon in Santa Barbara, California for the fourth time with a time of one hour, eight minutes and 41 seconds.  The event was the culmination of Moninda’s 3,700-mile journey that began last July in Auburn, Maine.

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Moninda grew up in Kenya.  A lack of steady money and political violence contributed to a difficult life as a youth.  But, his talent for running allowed him a way out, and his journey landed him in the United States.

In the U.S., Moninda began training, but ran into financial difficulties.  To help out, he began training with other Kenyan runners under a manager.  It was with this manager that Moninda fell victim to human trafficking.  The manager would keep winnings from the races the Kenyans ran, leaving little for living expenses.  Moninda lived in a house infested with bedbugs with no air conditioning and very little food.  Finally in 2012, Moninda met Dan Campbell, the technical director of the Santa Barbara Half Marathon.  He ran the Marathon and broke the course record.  Campbell helped him get out of his situation and relocate to Auburn, Maine, where life is finally good.

Becoming involved with the Auburn, Maine Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) and motivated to help others, he began The Moninda Movement to help bring awareness of human trafficking.  The Moninda Movement consisted of Moninda’s one-man goal of running 3,700 miles in four months and finishing with the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon. This amounted to running roughly 30 miles per day, 6 days a week.

Early into his journey, The Moninda Movement gained two sponsors – Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies located in central Maine, and Therafirm, a compression hosiery manufacturer based in Hamlet, North Carolina with corporate offices in Kansas City, Kansas.

Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies has a long history of serving its local community.  As a small, family-owned and operated business headquartered in Auburn, Maine, they are a company that cares about their customers like family. Providing the community with the best quality medical supplies and equipment available is how they strive to inspire and empower individuals to take life’s challenges as they come, and to live life on their terms. They are also proud to be one of the last independent pharmacies in the state of Maine.

Moninda’s mission was a perfect fit for Therafirm.  The U.S. manufacturer produces true gradient compression socks and hosiery including a line of athletic compression socks and leg and arm sleeves.  Gradient compression in athletic socks and sleeves feature compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to help increase energy for endurance, better performance and reduces muscle fatigue and recovery times.  But, equally important, Therafirm, as well as parent company Knit-Rite, Inc., holds improving lives as its mission, not only in the products it makes, but also in the many causes it supports locally and beyond.

The co-sponsorship included Therafirm-branded compression socks and sleeves and Moninda’s athletic apparel.  Custom screen printing on Moninda’s apparel advertised The Moninda Movement’s message.  Bedard and Therafirm also donated a portion of the proceeds from retail sales of Therafirm’s athletic compression products over an eight-month period to Moninda’s foundation in support of ending human trafficking.

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Originally, The Moninda Movement’s 3,700 miles was to be a cross-country journey where Moninda would run from Auburn, Maine to Santa Barbara, California stopping in several cities along the way.  Unfortunately, the logistics of getting his team of supporters through each leg of the journey proved difficult and the cross-country run had to be scrapped.  Moninda did not let the setback discourage him from his goals, however.  He continued to run his 30 miles each day from his home in Auburn, Maine making sure he reached the 3,700 miles it would have taken him to run from Maine to California.

Moninda finished his 3,700 mile run in time to catch a flight to Santa Barbara to run in the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon – a race that he won for the record-breaking 4th straight year.

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Knit-Rite and Employees Donate to Cross-Lines Christmas Store

At Knit-Rite, helping people is part of who we are.  But, our love of helping others doesn’t end with our products.  Knit-Rite is actively involved in helping others in our community and beyond.  One particular favorite is the Cross-Lines Christmas Store.  Cross-Lines is a community outreach program located right in Knit-Rite’s Kansas City, KS neighborhood.  Every year, the Cross-Lines staff opens a Christmas Store, allowing 500 parents in the community the opportunity to shop for gifts for their family.  Each family receives gifts of new clothes, coats, toys, household items and groceries for a holiday dinner.  The parents get to choose the gifts they give their children for Christmas.

When this time of year comes around, Knit-Rite employees truly enjoy being part of the fundraising for the Cross-Lines Christmas Store.  The festive atmosphere began this year in October with a Walking Taco Bar.  Employees donated the ingredients to make delicious Walking Tacos.  Then, in order to eat, each employee made a $5 donation.

One morning in early November, Knit-Rite employees got another enjoyable treat – Kim Vering’s Breakfast Casserole.  Kim, wife of COO Chris Vering, made up several pans of her delicious breakfast casserole and sold them to employees.

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The last big event was the annual Chili Cook-Off!  Knit-Rite recruited 5 chili cooks to whip up their special recipes.  On the day of the big competition, employees could pay and receive trials of each of the 5 chili recipes, as well as dessert to round out the meal.  After trying each of the chilis, each person voted for their favorite chili.  The top three cooks received a trophy and the winner earned a new crockpot (encouragement for next year’s Chili Cook-Off)!

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Along with each of these events, Knit-Rite held a raffle.  Employees could purchase raffle tickets for a variety of awesome prizes including vacation and personal days, a Kindle Fire and several other great prizes.

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Our grand total money raised for the Christmas Store was $1,342!  The money was used to purchase a variety of gifts, which were all donated to the Cross-lines Christmas Store to become gifts for families that would otherwise have none.

Helping people is part of our mission as a company – from the products we make to the community we live in.  God Bless and Happy Holidays from Knit-Rite.

The Moninda Movement, One Man’s Cross Country Journey to End Human Trafficking

 

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Kenyan runner, Moninda Marube has a very big mission; one that will take him 3,700 miles across the United States . . . on foot . . . running.  His journey began on July 1st in Auburn, Maine and will conclude in November in Santa Barbara, California where he will compete in the Santa Barbara International Marathon.  But, Moninda isn’t just running to run.  He has a mission and it’s as big as his journey.

Moninda grew up in Kenya.  A lack of steady money and political violence contributed to a difficult life as a youth.  But, his talent for running allowed him a way out, and his journey landed him in the United States.

In the U.S., Moninda began training, but ran into financial difficulties.  To help out, he began training with other Kenyan runners under a manager.  It was with this manager that Moninda fell victim to human trafficking.  The manager would keep winnings from the races the Kenyans ran, leaving little for living expenses.  Moninda lived in a house infested with bedbugs with no air conditioning and very little food.  Finally in 2012, Moninda met Dan Campbell, the technical director of the Santa Barbara International Marathon.  He ran the Marathon and broke the course record.  Campbell helped him get out of his situation and relocate to Auburn, Maine, where life is finally good.

Becoming involved with the Auburn, Maine Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) and motivated to help others, he began The Moninda Movement to help bring awareness of human trafficking.  The 4-month  journey kicked off in Auburn, Maine and includes an approximately 30-mile run 6 days a week.  Along the way, Moninda is speaking at PAL centers around the country to spread his message.

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The Moninda Movement and its mission soon attracted the attention of sponsors – Therafirm and parent company, Knit-Rite, Inc. and Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies.

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Moninda’s mission was a perfect fit for Therafirm.  The U.S. manufacturer produces true gradient compression socks and hosiery including a line of athletic compression socks and leg and arm sleeves.  Gradient compression in athletic socks and sleeves feature compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to help increase energy for endurance, better performance and reduces muscle fatigue and recovery times.  But, equally important, Therafirm, as well as parent company Knit-Rite, Inc., holds improving lives as its mission, not only in the products it makes, but also in the many causes it supports locally and beyond.

Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies is a small, family-owned and operated business headquartered in Auburn, Maine. Providing the community with the best quality medical supplies and equipment available is how they strive to inspire and empower individuals to take life’s challenges as they come, and to live life on their terms.

The co-sponsorship includes a cargo van that Moninda’s crew will use on the journey, as well as Therafirm-branded compression socks and sleeves and Moninda’s athletic apparel.  Custom decals on the van and screen printing on Moninda’s apparel will advertise The Moninda Movement’s message throughout his journey.  In addition to the above support, Therafirm and Bedard will donate a significant portion of proceeds from the retail sales of CoreSport, CoreSpun and Therafirm’s new sports compression line, launching September 1, 2015, to the Moninda Movement.  Sales through Bedard’s Auburn, Maine store and website, bedarddirect.com, between July 27, 2015 and March 31, 2016 will benefit Marube Moninda’s foundation.

Visit www.monindamovement.com to follow Moninda on his journey and www.bedarddirect.com to purchase Therafirm athletic compression products and support The Moninda Movement.

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Limb Loss Awareness Month

Every day, more than 500 people in the United States lose a limb due to trauma, infection, diabetes, cancer and other diseases, making the amputee population roughly 1.9 million Americans.  That is a pretty significant number.

April is Limb Loss Awareness Month.  Limb Loss Awareness Month began in 2011 by the Amputee Coalition to provide support for individuals and caregivers within the amputee community, to provide education to this community and to raise public awareness about limb loss.  The Coalition also provides information about limb loss prevention to people who are at high risk, such as people with diabetes or peripheral artery disease.  Limb Loss Awareness Month is an opportunity for individuals within the community to discuss the quality of life and other issues pertaining to limb loss.

In 2012, a year after it was established, 40 states, as well as President Barack Obama, had recognized Limb Loss Awareness Month.

A year after that, the Amputee Coalition launched Show Your Mettle Day for the last Saturday in April, which was recognized this year on April 25.  Show Your Mettle Day encourages amputees to display their strength of character by showing their prosthetic devices and wheelchairs visibly to the public.

The Amputee Coalition is asking for amputees to post photos of themselves wearing their prosthesis to their Facebook Page.  While you’re at it, post them to Knit-Rite’s site, as well!  We also want to hear about special events in your area that are connected to Limb Loss Awareness Month or Show Your Mettle Day.  Here are a few we’re aware of:

Limb Loss Awareness Event
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
SSM Day Institute
1001 S. Kirkwood Rd. Suite 150, Kirkwood, MO 63122
SSM Day Institute is hosting a Limb Loss Awareness Event at their Outpatient Day Therapy program for amputees and their families.

Limb Loss Awareness Month Charity Walk
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
330 John Carlyle Street, Alexandria, VA
American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) will hold a lunchtime walk to raise awareness and funds for the Amputee Coalition’s Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp.

To conclude Limb Loss Awareness Month, the Amputee Coalition will also be partnering with Össur and the Challenged Athletes Foundation to hold a Limb Loss Education Day/Mobility Clinic in Washington, DC on May 2, 2015.

 

Defining Service

What does it mean to live in poverty?

Poverty

It’s hard to imagine when you don’t live it every day.  What thoughts go through our heads?  I think of the starving children in countries around the world.  It always seems far away, distant.  But, poverty is alive right under our noses in our communities.

Down the street from the Knit-Rite building in Kansas City, Kansas is a community outreach organization called Cross Lines.  Knit-Rite and its employees are involved in programs supported by Cross Lines.

Cross Lines operates a food kitchen out of one of its buildings.  Once a month, Knit-Rite employees volunteer to prepare and serve food to those in need.

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During the holidays, Cross Lines hosts a Christmas Store, where families receive clothes, coats, household items and children’s toys for Christmas.  Cross Lines stocks the store with donations – many of which come from Knit-Rite.

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Once every summer, Cross Lines organizes a 5K walk called Blackout For Lights On.  Money raised from the 5K goes to help families pay their electronic bill.  Knit-Rite is a sponsor for Blackout For Lights On and many of the employees participate in the walk.

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Knit-Rite participates in several other drives throughout the year with Cross Lines, including food drives, a school supplies drive, and a prom dress drive.  Cross Lines hosts a thrift store, a food pantry and a plant sale supported by their own garden.

Service

At Knit-Rite, Service is defined as the little things that we do to help improve the lives of our neighbors and our community.

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Knit-Rite’s Tanya Khvitsko Competes in the 2014 Endeavor Games

This gallery contains 13 photos.

Tanya G. Khvitsko of Knit-Rite, Inc. participated in the 2014 Endeavor Games (Challenged Athletes Foundation) in Edmond, OK at the University of Central Oklahoma from June 5th to June 6th. With running as her specialty, Tanya placed in first for the 100 … Continue reading