Race2Rebuild Runners and Triathletes, with Rebuilding Together, to Help Rebuild NYPD Detective’s Home and Community Center Demolished by Sandy


NEW YORK, NY – July 1, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Leading up to the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, Race2Rebuild, a new charity racing team for Rebuilding Together, today announced that it will fund the rebuilding of the Brooklyn home of the family of Mary Wernersbach, a retired NYPD detective, and of the Gerritsen Beach Fire Department Vollies Center, both severely damaged by the storm.

The Race2Rebuild team currently has 14 members, including Biggest Loser Finalist Tara Costa, racing the Aquaphor New York City Triathlon on July 14, 2013. Each team member has committed to raising money to fund the rebuilding of the Wernersbach’s home. Race2Rebuild will be raising a total of $40,000 to rebuild the home and the Vollies Center, home of the last volunteer fire company in Brooklyn. The Race2Rebuild team will begin rebuilding the Wernersbach’s family home and the center on Saturday, July 27th.

“As a Long Island native, I am proud to be a part of the Race2Rebuild team. It is important to me to give back to my New York area community, while engaging in my passion for fitness at the same time,” said Costa. These athletes believe that their races can make a difference and help the community recover by supporting Rebuilding Together, and I’m so happy to be part of it.”

Race2Rebuild athletes will have a chance to meet the Wernersbach family and the Gerritsen Beach volunteer firefighters during race
weekend, where they will be at the finish line to congratulate the athletes.

“In the field of charity racing, it is extremely rare to provide a direct connection between the athlete, donor and the cause – this moment is what makes Race2Rebuild different,” said Sarah Hartmann, a local athlete and founder of Race2Rebuild. “The Rebuilding Together Sponsored Family, the Wernersbach’s, are a key part of the team. They motivate the athletes to race hard and race with resolve. Race2Rebuild is committed to using our passion for triathlon and running for good, to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.”

For Mary Wernersbach, her husband William Lauer, and their three sons, the resolve of Rebuilding Together and Race2Rebuild is a true relief. During the storm, she remembers the 6-7 foot surges of water in her house (her childhood home) that came up to the staircase leading from the basement. She recalls, “I really didn’t think it would stop, but we had to stay put and hope for the best, then it just stopped about a few feet from my first floor. It just came so fast that we had no time to even jump in the car and get away.”

The Vollies Center, despite being flooded and severely damaged by the storm, was the town’s home base for aid following the storm. Residents came there for everything from food and water to socks and soap. Volunteers were able to set up generators and it became a charging station for the community while residents had no electricity.

Since Race2Rebuild’s launch in April, several team members have already begun rebuilding in Gerritsen Beach. On June 6, Race2Rebuild teamed up with 500 Rebuilding Together volunteers including teams from presenting sponsors Lowe’s, Meredith Corporation, and more to renovate nearly a dozen homes and community areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The Race2Rebuild team spent the day with the editors of FITNESS magazine building a fitness training area for the Gerritsen Beach volunteer firefighters.

To join the cause or contribute, visit Race2Rebuild.org, for more information.

About Race2Rebuild
Race2Rebuild believes in safe, strong, healthy homes and communities for all. Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we fund Rebuilding Together’s disaster relief projects. To date, Rebuilding Together has served over 3.2 million people, is in the top 1% of all charities, and has rebuilt 1000+ homes in New Orleans post-Katrina. In the first season, athletes have two opportunities to Race2Rebuild two homes for two families. The two families will be there at the finish line and later the athletes will have the opportunity to volunteer with Rebuilding Together to rebuild their homes. Next year, Race2Rebuild will expand to at least four major races around the country. Home by home, block by block, Rebuilding Together is rebuilding homes and communities nationwide. Mile by mile, Race2Rebuild supports that mission.

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Press Contacts
Jackie Schmader, Ketchum


Sarah Hartmann


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